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Cover Art 

"DeMaris Hot Springs, near Cody" —This postcard scene from 
early in this century shows several visitors enjoying the warm 
waters of the spring along the banks of the Shoshone River, west of 
Cody. Photo courtesy of the American Heritage Center, University 
of Wyoming 


Rick Ewig 
Phil Roberts 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Officers, 1995-1996 

Maggi Layton, President 

Glen Morris, First Vice President 

Patty Myers, Second Vice President 

Sherry Taylor, Secretary 

Rick Ewig, Treasurer 


Board of Editors 

Barbara Allen Bogart 

Evanston (1996) 
Don Hodgson 

Torrington (1996) 
Lawrence M. Woods 

Worland (1996) 
John D. McDermott 

Sheridan (1997) 
William H. Moore 

Laramie (1997) 
Ann Noble 

Cora (1997) 
Thomas F. Stroock 

Casper (1997) 
David Kathka 

Rock Springs (1998) 
T. A. Larson 

Laramie (1998) 
Sherry Smith 

Jackson (1998) 

WSHS Publications Committee 

Maggi Layton, Chair 

Michael Cassity, 

Walter Edens, 

Loren Jost, 

David Kathka, 

Rock Springs 
Phil Roberts, 



History Journal 

The Blizzard of 1949 in Weston County 

By Lucille Dumbrill and Earl Christensen 

The blizzard is legendary among great storms in Wyoming history: Lucille Di 
impact the storm had on Weston County: 

State 'Historical Society 
er 1996 'I'oi 68, 9{o. 1 


Fired by Conscience: The Black 14 Incident at the University of Wyoming and Black 
Protest in the Western Athletic Conference, 1968-1970 

By Clifford A. Bullock 

The University of Wxommg football team had gained substantial recognition in the decade of 1960s for success on the 
football field. The "Black 14 " incident brought a change in team fortunes as well as negative national attention. 

The Church of the Good Shepherd in Sundance: The Record of Its First Decade 

By Mary Jean Wilson 

During the territorial period and early statehood years, churches were established in many Wyoming communities. In 
each case, they were made possible by substantial efforts expended by local citizens as well as church officials from other 
communities. The Sundance church is one example of the cooperative efforts. 



Simon Durlacher, The Clothing Prince of Laramie 

By Amy M. Lawrence 

Little evidence remains of the Civil War veteran who became one of Laramie's pioneer merchants. His story reveals some 
of the connections between business enterprises and civic activities in early-day Laramie. 

"To Me, History Will Always Be People and Their Memories'": 
A Biography of Agnes Wright Spring 

By Fran Springer 

Agnes Wright Spring had a long career in history: both in Wyoming and Colorado. She sened as state historian in both 
states. Fran Springer records her long career of service to both states. 

Book Reviews 

Reviews of recent and significant books about Wyoming and Western history: 

Recent Articles about Wyoming 

Ron Diener has compiled this listing of significant articles from journals, magazines and newspapers featuring Wyoming 
history subjects. 




Wyoming Histon Journal is published by the Wyoming State Historical Society in cooperation with the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming, and the 
Department of History, University of Wyoming The journal was formerly known as the Quarterly Bulletin^ 1923-25), Annals of Wyoming ( 1925- 1993 land Wyoming 
Annals ( 1993- 1995) The journal has been the official publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1953. The Co-Editors of Wyoming History Journal 
welcome manuscripts on every aspect of Wyoming and Western history. Authors should submit manuscripts on diskettes utilizing Word Perfect. Microsoft Word or 
ASCII text, and two copies double-spaced hard copy to: Wyoming History Journal. P. 0. Box 4256. University Station. Uaramie, WY 8207 1 . Manuscripts should 
conform to A Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press) Authors are responsible for the interpretation in their articles. Manuscripts are refereedby members of 
the Board of Editors and others The co-editors make decisions regarding publication. For information about reprints and Journal back issues, contact the editors 

Wyoming History Journal is received by members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Current membership is 2,350. Membership dues are. single S20. joint S30, 
student ( under 21)515, institutional $40, contributing $ 1 00-249, sustaining S250-499. patron S500-999, donor $ 1 ,000+. To join, write the editors. Copies of Wyoming 
History Journal may be purchased from the editors. Journal articles are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: Histon and Life. 

Copyright Wyoming State Historical Society 1996 
ISSN: 1086-7368 

in Q4)eston ^Sountu 

By Lucille Dumbrill and Earl Christensen 

The blizzard of 1949 continued for three straight 
days. It began on Sunday, January 2, and raged continu- 
ously until Tuesday night, January 4. According to the 
report in the Newcastle News Letter Journal, "only a 
reasonable amount of snow fell but with the high winds 
over the entire area visibility was null and the drifting of 
snow was extremely bad." 1 

Earl Christensen and other ranchers in the area were 
completely snowbound and could not get any farther 
away from the house than to care for the livestock in the 
barns. They worried a lot, and with good reason, about 
the fate of the livestock out in the storm. The blizzard 
covered the state of Wyoming, but due to slightly differ- 
ent circumstances, different areas suffered in various 

As is often the situation, the city of Newcastle suf- 
fered very little because of the storm. However, the com- 
munity was completely isolated for several days and even 
though local businesses remained open, grocery stores 
sold out of such items as milk, butter, and some meat 
items. The local bakery, owned and operated by Steve 
and Dorothy Accola, provided bread for the entire com- 
munity as well as for Osage, Red Butte, Prairie Store, 
and the Mountain Inn during the entire emergency. This 
was particularly difficult since the yeast supply for the 
bakery customarily came in twice weekly from Rapid 
City, South Dakota. Since the yeast did not arrive, the 
bakery made bread by juggling formulas and, thus, us- 
ing less yeast as well as using small cakes and packages 
of yeast from the grocery stores. According to the News 
Letter Journal, the bakers unwrapped eighty dozen small 
cakes of yeast during one night in order to make the ten 
oven loads of bread needed to meet the demand. 2 

The blizzard drastically affected train service. The 
last mail train came into Newcastle on Sunday evening, 
January 2. The last train out until after the storm was 
No. 42 Sunday evening. Monday noon, the local freight 
train came into Newcastle from Edgemont and was 
stranded in the local yards for several days. The east- 
bound local freight was stalled at Upton on Sunday 
evening. Mail service finally was restored Tuesday, Janu- 


ary 1 1 , when No. 42 from the west arrived at about 7 
p.m., and train No. 43 came in about one hour later. 3 
Clearing the tracks was an extremely difficult task, took 
much time, and had to be done again and again as the 
wind drifted the snow back onto the tracks. 

The aftermath of the storm was in some ways more 
challenging than the worst part of the blizzard. In the 
few days following the most severe snowfall, ranchers 
tried to assess the damage and cope with the results. They 
tried to save as many livestock as possible, replenish 
depleted supplies, and get members of their families to 
the various communities for medical or other needed 

The situation was not critical in the Four Corners 
area. Ranchers there still had horses and sleds which 
were much more useful in deep snow than the two-wheel 
drive vehicles or even the four-wheel drive jeeps owned 
by ranchers in the west country and the Clareton area. 
According to Earl Christensen, drifts were twelve to fif- 
teen feet high on his ranch. Travel was mostly accom- 
plished by following the ridges which were windswept 
and mostly free of snow. Most of the cattle on the 
Christensen ranch survived, however. They were famil- 
iar with the landscape and knew where to go for protec- 
tion from the wind and snow. According to Jean Sherwin 
Sears, their ranch lost no cattle for the same reason. 

Other ranchers were not as fortunate. Christy Smith, 
who had just moved his cattle to the south ranch from 
the prairie area north of Newcastle for winter grazing, 
lost about one hundred head. According to the News 
Letter Journal, losses in other parts of Wyoming were 
greater than they had been in Weston County. In Niobrara 
County, livestock losses were estimated at about four 
percent with the area around Van Tassell hardest hit. 
Losses there were from fifteen to twenty percent of some 
herds. 4 

The after-effects of the storm, with temperatures 

1 Newcastle News Letter Journal, January 6, 1949. 

2 Journal, January 13, 1949. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Journal, March 3, 1949. 

plummeting to forty degrees below zero, took a serious 
toll on livestock in Campbell County. These figures were 
reported by Louis Sehilt, of the Wyoming agricultural 
extension service. The News Letter Journal listed esti- 
mated cattle losses in Weston County at that time on the 
basis of figures from individual ranchers. The estimates 
included more than five hundred cattle, including calves, 
and more than six hundred sheep. 5 

The cattle died after they moved along the fence lines 
and then piled up in the comers. Covered with snow, 
they suffocated under the drifts. Others died from the 
extreme cold. Icicles froze over their noses and eyes, 
keeping them from seeing. Earl Christensen reports see- 
ing dead cattle the entire way from Upton to the Chey- 
enne River. 

The losses would have been even greater were it not 
for the numerous groups and individuals who helped the 
stricken ranchers. It was a week before many ranchers 
could get out and get feed for the livestock. A trainload 
of hay was brought into Newcastle in box cars. The ranch- 
ers went to town in caravans so that they could help each 
other get through the drifts. The National Guard helped 
with "cats" and rotary plows. The oil companies also 
had equipment which was utilized to open roads and get 
to ranches. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers con- 
ducted "Operation Snowbound" and manned a sub-area 
office in the Weston County Court House. The front page 
of the News Letter Journal reported, that "Continued 
snow, cold weather and ground blizzards have hampered 
opening of roads in Weston County within the last 
week... roads previously opened are now closed." 6 

The problems continued for ranchers many weeks 
after the original snow. The same issue of the Journal 
reported that "Much of the hay that comes into Weston 
County has been trucked in from South Dakota. Truck- 
ers have had a very difficult time in getting through on 
the highways because of the drifting snow.. .a convoy 
system has been used, in which trucks loaded with hay 
and other needed ranch supplies follow bulldozers when 
opening up the roads." 7 

The army operations ended in the county on Wednes- 
day evening, February 23, more than six weeks after the 
onset of the storm. The News Letter Journal listed the 
equipment used to keep the roads open in the county 
during the emergency. "Equipment used in opening the 
snow in Weston county has included eleven bulldozers, 
four patrols, one Laternal dozer and three rotary plows. 
Two of the rotary plows were sent in from Yellowstone 
Park and Estes Park.. .A rotary plow belonging to the 
Wyoming National Guard has been used in the Upton 
vicinity ...companies [help by keeping] the roads open 

Winter 1996 

to their drilling operations." 8 Earl Christensen remem- 
bers various oil companies had many pieces of equip- 
ment that were utilized to help keep roads open. 

The ranchers also aided the oil field workers and 
rode horses to check on the "dog houses" and well loca- 
tions to be sure that no workers were stranded in the 
country without supplies. Local pilots were called into 
service and, according to Earl Christensen, this was the 
first time he could remember that aircraft were used in 
an emergency in Weston County. He remembered that 
Clyde Ice was at the Newcastle airport and that he air- 
dropped needed medicine to stranded families. Christy 
Smith had a small plane with skis and used it to help. So 
did Peter Smith and Gus Sherwin. Christy Smith dropped 
a set of chains for a car to one rancher. The chain landed 
fine, but there "wasn't much left of the sack," Earl 
Christensen said. Christy also dropped mail. The drop 
was so accurate at the Ben Morris ranch that one of the 
two mail sacks rolled up against the side of the house. 

The remains of the cattle which perished in the storm 
did not go entirely to waste as crews came out to the 
ranches and skinned them. The hides were sold to com- 
mercial firms. 

John C. Christensen had just been elected to the 
Weston County Commission in the November, 1948, 
election. He took charge of the emergency operations 
for the county soon after Joe Watt, commission chair- 
man, rode a horse into Moorcroft and from there tele- 
phoned, informing Christensen of his appointment to the 
job. The county relief board was composed of 
Christensen, Wyoming Highway Department project 
engineer H. J. Mitchell, county agent Garth Percival, and 
Red Cross representative Jennie Kirkwood. 

Few country homes had telephones in those days 
and the few that did had no service because many of the 
lines blew down. The county relief board took on the job 
of keeping people informed about the conditions through- 
out the county. Operations directed by this and other gov- 
ernment agencies brought relief to the people and live- 
stock keeping the losses to a minimum in Weston County. 

5 Journal, January 13, 1949. 

6 Journal, February 17, 1949 
' Ibid. 

8 Journal. February 23, 1949. 

Co-author Lucille Dumbrill is a former president 
of the Wyoming State Historical Society. She is 
presently completing a biography of Wyoming's 
first woman lawyer. Weston County rancher Earl 
Christensen served in the Wyoming State Senate 
for 24 years. 

Fired By Conscience 

War Memorial Stadium, student (east) stands, Oct. 18, 1969 

American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming 

The "Black 14' Incident at the University 
of Wyoming and Black Protest in the 
Western Athletic Conference, 1 968-1 970 

By Clifford A. Bullock 

The decade of the 1 960s was a time of great change 
in the United States. The apathy, conformity, and of- 
ten unquestioned platitudes of the 1950s disappeared 
in angry waves of activism, confrontation, and pro- 
tests. The issues involved the role of the student in 
large universities, free speech, racial equality, and op- 
position to the expanding military involvement in 
Southeast Asia. Questions concerning these issues were 
raised throughout the country and. in 1969, rocked the 
campus at the University of Wyoming. 

With increasing incidents of sit-ins, campus take- 
overs, marches, and demonstrations, much of the pub- 
lic yearned for the tranquillity and stability of the 1 950s. 
Opportunistic political figures on a local, state, and 
national level expounded a solution to the problems 
of protest utilizing key words such as "discipline," "'or- 
der," and "law." Part of the solution to societal unrest 
was a concerted effort by local, state, and university 
leadership to form plans to prevent or mitigate pro- 

Another facet of the "White backlash" was the 
plethora of conspiracy theories used to explain the pro- 
tests of Blacks and students. Many leaders, such as J. 
Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
(FBI ). and California governor Ronald Reagan, openly 
stated the student movement and the Black movement 
were directed by Communists. 1 Many others echoed 
their statements. : 

By the mid 1960s the Black movement of the free- 
dom riders and the theologically-based passive resis- 
tance of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.. was at a stand- 
still. More militant factions battled for a leadership role 
in the Black march to equality. Various civil rights 
activists sought new tools in the struggle against in- 
stitutionalized racism. 

Blacks utilized athletics as one of their most effec- 
tive forums. Dr. Harry Edwards of San Jose State Col- 
lege in California led national efforts, such as the pro- 
posed boycotts of the 1967 New York City Athletic 
Club's track meet and the 1 968 Olympic games. These 
incidents drew international attention to the struggle 
of the Black athlete and inspired many collegiate ath- 
letes to utilize the tools of walkouts and boycotts. The 

Winter 1Q96 
vivid image of the raised, black-gloved hands and 
bowed heads of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the 
w inners' platforms in Mexico City lifted Black aware- 
ness and inflamed White passions. 3 

Many of the publicized 130 actions taken by Black 
college athletes in 1968 centered on issues of alien- 
ation and discrimination on predominantly White cam- 
puses. 4 They protested against unsympathetic coaches, 
rules against "Afro" haircuts, lack of housing for 
Blacks, lack of jobs for athletes' w ives. policies against 
interracial dating. lack of Black coaches and cheerlead- 
ers, and indignities suffered on and off the field at the 
hands of bigoted fans, opposing players, and game of- 
ficials. White fans and administrators perceived main 
of the Blacks' complaints to be petty and inconsequen- 

Beginning in the spring of 1968. a new dimension 
was added to the protests of the Black athlete. Blacks 
began a series of protests against the racial attitudes of 
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) 
as represented by Brigham Young University (BYU) 
in the Western Athletic Conference (W AC). 5 

The LDS. (or Mormons), denied Blacks full mem- 
bership. During Brigham Young's tenure as head of 
the church during the nineteenth century, Blacks, or 
anyone of "Negroid blood." were prohibited from the 
priesthood.- This dogma denied important aspects of 
worship to Blacks who chose to join the church. 

Much national attention had been focused on Mor- 
mon theology in 1 963 because of the presidential aspi- 
rations of George Romney, a Mormon. 1 The exclu- 
sion of Blacks from the priesthood also hindered the 
LDS Church's missionary efforts in emerging African 
nations. 8 In the early 1 960s Utah remained as the single 
state outside of the Deep South not to have any civil 
rights legislation. 1 ' In spite of national attention, the 
scanty scriptural basis of the LDS stance, and pressure 
from within the Church. 10 Blacks were still excluded 
from the priesthood. 

The Mormon Church's attitude towards Blacks 
affected Brigham Young University and its mission 
within the church." Because of the limited number of 
Blacks attending BYU. the school was perceived as 

"The only genuine, long-range solution for what hcs happened lies in an attack - mounted at every level 

- upon the conditions that breed despair and violence. All of us know what those conditions are: 
ignorance, discrimination, slums, poverty, disease, not enough jobs. We should attack these conditions 

- not because we are frightened by conflict, but because we are fired by conscience. We should attack 
them because there is simply no other way to achieve a decent and orderly society in America. . ." 

- President Lyndon Baines Johnson, July 27, 1 967 


Wyoming History Journal 

perpetuating segregation. 12 BYU administrators, as late 
as 1969, discouraged Blacks from attending the Provo, 
Utah, school. 11 Blacks around the WAC began to ex- 
amine BYU and LDS Church policies. Because of the 
emphasis that BYU placed on its intercollegiate ath- 
letic programs. Black student groups and Black ath- 
letes strategically targeted intercollegiate athletic con- 
tests with BYU. 

The first such protest against BYU occurred in 
April, 1969. by Black track team members from the 
University of Texas - El Paso (UTEP). 14 The Black 
track team members refused to participate in a meet at 
Provo, Utah. The UTEP protest, resulting in the dis- 
missal of eight Black athletes, gained national notori- 
ety because the termination of the Black athletes and 
the racist atmosphere at UTEP were published as part 
of a five-part series on race and athletics written by 
Jack Olsen for Sports Illustrated}'' Subsequent oppo- 
sition to BYU and LDS beliefs surfaced at San Jose 
State (SJS), the University of New Mexico (UNM), 
and Arizona State University (ASU). 16 The next pro- 
test against BYU came in the fall of 1969 at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming. 

Many factors united at the University of Wyoming 
to make it significant and pivotal in the Black struggle 
against the policies of the LDS Church and BYU. The 
University of Wyoming was the only four-year school 

"The Black Ball Players Have Fought For You, Fight For Them Now! " read a 
placard held by an unidentified student outside the BYU-Wyoming football game, 
War Memorial Stadium, October 18, 1969. 

in Wyoming, and thus, its athletic teams were the cen- 
ter of the state's attention. Wyoming was also a neigh- 
boring state of Utah, with a sizable Mormon popula- 
tion of its own. Similar to many other schools in the 
WAC and around the country, Blacks had been brought 
into Wyoming to bolster the athletic programs. 17 Wyo- 
ming Black athletes faced the same alienation and hos- 
tility as Blacks on predominantly White campuses 
around the country. 

Also similar to other states was a conservative "law 
and order" state and university administration. Riding 
the coattails of the Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew 
rhetoric and White backlash, Governor Stanley 
Hathaway saw the Laramie campus as another state 
office over which he had control. 18 Former University 
of Wyoming president William Carlson, like many 
other college administrators during this time, seemed 
to be out of his league when confronted with serious 
social problems. Carlson also had Republican ties, 19 
and was an ardent supporter of the athletic department. 
Both Hathaway and Carlson were determined that cam- 
pus unrest not occur on the Laramie campus or else- 
where in the state. 20 

The Wyoming football team was talented, success- 
ful, and a source of pride to the "Equality State." The 
team had won an unprecedented three consecutive 
WAC football championships and fans anticipated a 


fourth. During much 
of the decade, the 
Wyoming Cowboy 
football team was al- 
most always among 
the nation's leaders in 
defensive categories. 
Prior to the 1969 sea- 
son, the team had 
gone to the Sun Bowl 
and the Sugar Bowl. 
The ardent Wyoming 
fans expected another 
major bowl bid. This 
seemed likely after 
the team won the first 
four games. Many 
Wyoming supporters 
envisioned an unde- 
feated season while 
the university made 
plans to expand War 
Memorial Stadium to 
accommodate in- 
creased fan support. 21 

Winter 1996 

When strife and confrontation did come to the Laramie campus, it not only touched issues 
of discipline and protest against BYU, it brought up the same charges of alienation and 
prejudice at the University of Wyoming and the town of Laramie. 

Fourteen Black football players were key to the 
team's success. 22 The fourteen came from varied back- 
grounds. Sophomore safety Jerry Berry came to Wyo- 
ming from Tulsa. Oklahoma. He was majoring in sta- 
tistics. Fullback Tony Gibson, a physical education ma- 
jor, hailed from the Berkshires of western Massachu- 
setts. Split end John Griffin came to Wyoming from 
San Fernando, California. He was in his third year, also 
majoring in physical education. Lionel Grimes was a 
defensive halfback from Alliance, Ohio. A sophomore, 
he was majoring in business administration. 

Offensive tackle Mel Hamilton, a physical educa- 
tion major from Boys' Town, Nebraska, was in his jun- 
ior year. Hamilton had turned down a full scholarship 
to Cornell to follow a Boys' Town friend to the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming. On Wyoming's 1966 Sun Bowl 
team, he had played starting guard. In 1969, he had 
returned to Wyoming after two years in the Army. Ron 
Hill, a split end junior college transfer from Sterling, 
Colorado, was a health education major in his sopho- 
more year. Sophomore philosophy major Willie Hysaw, 
a flanker, had come to Laramie from Bakersfield, Cali- 
fornia. He had been the leading receiver on the Fresh- 
man team the previous year. 

Jim Issac was the sole Wyoming native of the four- 
teen Black football players. He was a sophomore physi- 
cal education major from the mining town of Hanna. 21 
Earl Lee was also a physical education major. The of- 
fensive guard was a sophomore from Chattanooga. 
Tennessee. Don Meadows, a business administration 
major from Denver, Colorado, was a sophomore cen- 

Tony McGee was the best known of the fourteen 
Blacks. His quickness and speed earned him recogni- 
tion as a high school athlete in Battle Creek, Michigan. 
He had boxed cereal for Kellogg's in the nation's break- 
fast food capital before coming to Wyoming. His final 
choices for college were Michigan State, Nebraska, and 
Wyoming. He chose Wyoming, his 4.5 second speed 
in the 40 yard dash making him Wyoming's fastest 

Defensive halfback Ivie Moore from Pine Bluff. 
Arkansas, was in his junior year studying physical edu- 
cation. Joe Williams was another physical education 
major. The only senior among the fourteen Blacks, he 
was from Lufkin, Texas. He played tailback along with 
Ted Williams of Port Hueneme, California. Along with 

his White counterpart. Frosty "Freight Train" Franklin, 
they ". . . could [have made] up the best set of running 
backs in the history of Wyoming football." 24 These 
Blacks, along with a talented group of Whites created 
a potent WAC football power. 

Many fans and boosters in Wyoming felt the team's 
success was attributable to Head Football Coach Lloyd 
Eaton who had taken over head coaching duties when 
Bob Devaney left Wyoming to head the prestigious 
Cornhusker football program in neighboring Nebraska 
in 1962. Whatever might be said later about Lloyd 
Eaton as a coach and a person, there was no denying 
his team's achievements and his personal accolades. 
In 1966, his Cowboy team had gone 9-1 and defeated 
Florida State in the Sun Bowl. The 1967 Cowboys had 
been unbeaten. They lost a close game in the Sugar 
Bowl to Louisiana State. By 1969, Eaton was among 
the national leaders in winning percentage. Along with 
three WAC championships, Eaton was named as WAC 
Coach of the Year in 1966 and 1967. People in Wyo- 
ming feared Eaton, because of his national recogni- 
tion, might leave Laramie as his predecessor had done. 
In the early part of 1 969, Eaton was reportedly "being 
considered" as a leading contender for the University 
of Pittsburgh head coaching job. 25 Some observers have 
speculated Eaton was granted a carte blanche with the 
football team by President Carlson and the Board of 
Trustees. 26 

Eaton, who had been Devaney's defensive coach, 
was regarded as a strict disciplinarian in the mold of 
Woody Hayes of Ohio State and Frank Kush of Ari- 
zona State. Eaton believed team discipline to be a criti- 
cal element in generating successful teams and quality 
athletes. 27 He believed in the traditional, military-sty led 
discipline of authoritarian athletics even as Blacks 
around the country rebelled against its constraints. 28 
Part of Eaton's steps to establish discipline proved to 
be a key in the ensuing controversy. He forbade his 
players to be seen together in groups or to participate 
in any demonstration or protest. He reminded his play- 
ers of this edict at every spring practice, and again in 
the fall. Just before the national Moratorium Day pro- 
tests opposing United States involvement in Vietnam 
on October 15, 1969, he reminded his players again. 2 " 
Despite the prevalent unrest in intercollegiate athlet- 
ics, Eaton and the Wyoming programs had seen no vis- 
ible signs of turmoil. 


Wyoming History Journal 

The calm of the Laramie campus vanished as the dismissals prompted a battery of meet- 
ings involving the university president, the governor, the trustees, Willie Black, and the 
athletes themselves.. 

When strife and confrontation did come to the 
Laramie campus, it not only touched issues of disci- 
pline and protest against BYU, it brought up the same 
charges of alienation and prejudice at the University 
of Wyoming and the town of Laramie. This echoed 
Black protest throughout the WAC. The fact there were 
no protests to date did not signify campus life in pre- 
dominantly White Wyoming was without problems for 
Black athletes. At least one football player had left the 
University because the coach had pressured athletes to 
enroll in easier courses. 10 Another player, one of the 
Cowboys' fourteen Black football players, left school 
for two years of military service when Coach Eaton 
opposed his marriage to a White woman. 31 Like other 
schools, Wyoming's Black athletes were to charge that 
White players of lesser ability would play before more 
talented Black players. In addition. Blacks perceived 
they were pressured to play when injured." 

Flynn Robinson, a Wyoming basketball player who 
later played in the National Basketball Association, 
was rumored to have carried a gun to protect himself 
from the "cowboy element."" One incident, described 
by writer James Michener in Sports in America, oc- 
curred when the brothers of a White female student, 
befriended by a Black, tried to organize a "posse" to 
run the offending party out of Laramie. 34 Black play- 
ers endured racial slurs around the campus, in Laramie, 
and on the football field. 35 Whatever grievances the 
Wyoming Blacks had were not publicly acknowledged 
as the team remained unbeaten and bowl-bound. 

On Moratorium Day, October 15, 1969, the newly- 
formed Black Student Alliance of the University of 
Wyoming, led by Willie Black, a Ph.D. candidate in 
mathematics, delivered a letter to university officials. 
The letter referred to the racial policies of the LDS 
Church and BYU . Included was a suggestion that play- 
ers and students protest against BYU during the game 
scheduled in Laramie on October 18, 1969. Coach 
Eaton warned his Black players separately of the team 
rule regarding such protests. 

Despite their coach's warning, the Black players 
met and decided they wanted to discuss with their coach 
what they felt to be a matter of conscience. 36 On the 
snowy morning of October 17, 1969, they walked to 
the athletic complex. They were in street clothes and 
wore black armbands to show Coach Eaton how they 
might protest. The coach requested that the group be 

seated in the bleachers at the fieldhouse. In the pres- 
ence of two assistant coaches, Eaton called the Blacks 
"rabble-rousers" who could no longer be supported by 
taxpayer money. He told them they could go back on 
"Negro relief." Repeatedly he told the athletes to "shut 
up" and suggested that if they had not come to Wyo- 
ming, "they would be out on the streets hustling." 37 
Eaton then revoked their scholarships and dismissed 
them from the team. 

The calm of the Laramie campus vanished as the 
dismissals prompted a battery of meetings involving 
the university president, the governor, the trustees, 
Willie Black, and the athletes themselves. 38 The gov- 
ernor, the trustees, and the president, after meeting until 
2:30 a.m., allowed the Blacks to remain in school with 
the possibility of financial aid after the fall semester. 
This action did not please the Black athletes or some 
other campus groups. 

The Student Senate was the first group to decry 
the arbitrary dismissals. In a vote of 1 7- 1 , it issued a 
statement condemning Eaton's actions. Its resolution 
called for a forum to discuss the rights of athletes as 
students. The senate also threatened to withhold stu- 
dent money from the athletic department. 

During the BYU game, pickets marched outside 
the stadium and the Black athletes were booed by the 
crowd when they took seats in the student section. 
During the game, a large Confederate flag was dis- 
played by a student at the top of the bleacher area. 
While the under-manned Cowboy team pounded BYU 
40-7, the crowd chanted cheers for Eaton, confirming 
observers' feelings that Eaton was more popular than 
both President Carlson and Governor Hathaway. 39 

As a new week started on campus, there were few 
signs that anything had changed. Sunday's open meet- 
ing of the Faculty Senate had resulted in a watered- 
down call for an ad hoc committee to investigate. 40 Still, 
many students and faculty attended meetings and be- 
gan petitions supporting the fourteen student-athletes 
and calling for a reversal of the dismissals. The groups 
disagreeing with the stance of the governor and the 
trustees focused on the issues of students' rights, aca- 
demic freedom, the power of the athletic department, 
and free expression. 

As the student and faculty groups sought to chal- 
lenge the dismissals, the demise of the Black athletes 
began to garner support around the WAC and around 

the country. The success of the football team and pro- 
gram guaranteed national exposure, evidenced by the 
arrival in Laramie of ABC. CBS, and NBC film crews. 41 
On October 23. 1969, President Carlson and Coach 
Eaton held a press conference and announced an im- 
mediate change in Eaton's rule regarding protests. This 
policy change would not affect, however, the Blacks 
already dismissed. It was at this press conference that 
Sports Illustrated reported that President Carlson ad- 
mitted that at Wyoming, football was more important 
than civil rights. 4: After making the statement. Presi- 
dent Carlson hastily ended the press conference. 

Actions by Black and White groups around the 
WAC now focused on Wyoming as well as BYU. Stu- 
dents at San Jose State sought to boycott Wyoming's 
Homecoming game the following Saturday. A team 
vote opted for participating in the game, but all the 
players would wear multi-colored armbands protest- 
ing all racism and the dismissals of the Blacks at Wyo- 
ming. 41 It was during this game that a small private 
plane flew over the stadium trailing a banner that read 
"Yeah Eaton." 44 Many in the crowd wore armbands 
bearing Eaton's name. 45 

WAC Commissioner Wiles Hallock tried to save 
the embattled conference from 
disintegrating. WAC officials 
called a conference at the begin- 
ning of November in Denver. 
There. Hallock issued a statement 
raising the specter of a national 
Black conspiracy. Hallock, 
Coach Eaton, the NCAA, and 
administrators at Wyoming be- 
lieved that Wyoming's nationally 
respected program, Eaton's 
policy of discipline, and the lack 
of previous racial disturbances 
had made Wyoming an obvious 
target. 46 

The WAC meetings ad- 
journed when Black activists 
walked into the closed-door 
meetings wearing black 
armbands w ith the numerals " 1 4" 
on them as tribute to the Wyo- 
ming Black athletes. These 
bands became a common sight 
around the WAC during contests 
with BYU and the University of 

The issue of Blacks, the Mor- 
mon Church, and BYU reached 

Winter 1996 
beyond the limits of the WAC when Stanford Univer- 
sity announced that due to the LDS' racial policy, it 
would no longer participate in any future intercolle- 
giate activities with BYU. President Kenneth S. Pitzer's 
statement prompted further activism throughout the 
WAC to end competition with BYU despite efforts of 
the LDS Church and BYU apologists to defend their 
church and university. 

At UTEP, activists passed out leaflets condemn- 
ing BYU. Police were called to quell violence in the 
stands during the BYU- Arizona State (ASU) game. 47 
At Colorado State University (CSU), the Black Stu- 
dent Association presented the university president with 
a list of demands in support of Wyoming's Black ath- 
letes. 48 In Tucson, the University of Arizona student 
senate voiced support for the "Wyoming fourteen." In 
Tempe, the ASU Black student group attacked both 
Lloyd Eaton and ASU's football coach Frank Kush. 
Rush had supported Eaton's actions, as had Paul "Bear" 
Bryant at the University of Alabama. 4 " At the Univer- 
sity of New Mexico (UNM), the student senate de- 
manded disassociation from BYU. The New Mexico 
Civil Liberties Union suggested that UNM withdraw 
from the WAC and called on school officials to pres- 

Unidentified University of Wyoming students hold placards supporting 
"Black 14." outside War Memorial Stadium. October 18. 1969. 

Wyoming History Journal 

". . . if you think your civil or constitutional rights are more important to you than an 
education, then you should go home." — UW Track Coach John Walker to the Black 
members of the Cowboy track team, October 1 969 (All four left UW) 

sure Wyoming to reverse its action. 50 Prior to the New 
Mexico- Wyoming game in Albuquerque, on Novem- 
ber 15, 1969, students demonstrated outside the sta- 
dium questioning whether the Wyoming Blacks had 
been "Lynched Again?" 51 The CSU international stu- 
dent group passed a resolution supporting the reinstate- 
ment of the Wyoming athletes and condemning Mor- 
mon racial policy. At Utah State University, the Black 
student group demanded a student censure of BYU and 
a demonstration at the BYU-Utah State game. 

Basketball season began with no let-up in the pro- 
tests. During the University of Arizona-BYU game in 
Tucson, on January 8, 1 970, a "near riot" occurred when 
police fought with anti-BYU demonstrators. 52 A wres- 
tling competition was the scene of another anti-BYU 
protest at Colorado State College (now the University 
of Northern Colorado), in Greeley. Later in the month, 
the CSU (Fort Collins) student government voted to 
end the school's athletic relationship with BYU. At 
the beginning of February, the CSU-BYU basketball 
game in Fort Collins was disrupted when Blacks 
marched onto the court. Police in riot gear clashed with 
the activists. A photographer from The Rocky Moun- 
tain News was struck unconscious and in need of 
stitches. Seven people were arrested. 53 Two days later, 
at the Wyoming-BYU game in Laramie, a strong po- 
lice presence insured order. At the end of February, 
the WAC basketball game between New Mexico and 
BYU in Albuquerque bred still more violence. Even 
prior to the game, bricks painted with "BYU" were 
thrown through the windows of homes occupied by 
university officials. 54 The game itself was delayed 45 
minutes after debris, including balloons filled with kero- 
sene, was thrown onto the court. 

By this point, the fourteen Wyoming Blacks, with 
the assistance of NAACP attorney William Waterman, 
and later the ACLU, filed a $1 . 1 million lawsuit against 
the University of Wyoming and Coach Eaton in United 
States District Court in Cheyenne. The suit was based 
on the 1st and 14th Amendments to the United States 
Constitution and the recent Supreme Court of the United 
States decision of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent 
Community School District. 55 This case permitted the 
wearing of black armbands in a secondary school set- 
ting as a protest against the Vietnam War. The State of 
Wyoming's Attorney General, representing Eaton and 

the university, claimed the fourteen Blacks were em- 
ployees of the State of Wyoming, and a protest on the 
athletic field would have violated the State of Wyo- 
ming and the U. S. Constitutions' demand for the sepa- 
ration of church and state. Judge Ewing T. Kerr, the 
United States District Court judge, ruled in favor of 
the University of Wyoming. The decision was upheld 
on appeal and no move was made to pursue the case to 
the United States Supreme Court. 56 

As the litigation process took its course, schools 
around the West continued their demonstrations against 
BYU. Violence and disruption accompanied many of 
these protests. Contests with BYU necessitated addi- 
tional security and sometimes even activation of Na- 
tional Guard units. 57 The BYU protests also spread to 
the University of Washington campus in Seattle. There, 
more militant student groups occupied buildings, dis- 
rupted classes, and eventually led to a Seattle police 
presence on campus. 58 

At Wyoming, all but one of the fourteen Blacks 
gradually left campus. Like other schools in the WAC, 
the conference officials, school administrators, coaches, 
fans, and White players showed little sympathy or un- 
derstanding of the Blacks' protest of conscience. Al- 
though the ideological basis for the Black protests was 
common knowledge, the protests against BYU were 
seen as another senseless disruption by Blacks. 

During the entire period of Black athletic protests, 
coaches, backed by administrators and the National 
Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), were adamant 
in their support of tradition. This was a tradition of 
military discipline, patriotic displays, absolute control, 
and denial of individual rights accorded to other stu- 
dents. Little was done to address the plight of minor- 
ity players. 

At Wyoming, the adherence to the belief that the 
issue was one of "team discipline, not race," was sup- 
ported by the state's media. National examination and 
criticism was seen as an unwarranted intrusion by out- 
siders who did not understand "the Cowboy way." 
Many people in Wyoming at the time, and to the 
present, blame outside agitators. They ignore the prior 
press coverage of the issue of Black priesthood in the 
LDS Church. The incident on the Laramie campus was 
one in a series of protests against perceived LDS rac- 
ism, not a single target of Black leadership. The charges 


of conspiracy and the emphasis on team discipline 
painted Black athletes as field hands who have become 
disruptive, sullen, and "uppity." Unfortunately, many 
of these perceptions have continued in athletics. 

In spite of the adversity the fourteen Blacks en- 
countered, ten of the fourteen graduated from college. 
Four of them went on to professional football careers, 
including Tony McGee and Tony Gibson who played 
for the New England Patriots. 

Coach Lloyd Eaton, the popular and successful 
coach, perceived by many in the state to be a man of 
principle, won only one game the following season. 
The man who was granted a carte blanche to keep him 
at Wyoming, was abruptly promoted to a new posi- 
tion, away from the players, as assistant athletic direc- 
tor. He later joined a professional football scouting 
combine. The man who, at one time, was more popu- 
lar than the Wyoming governor, retired to seclusion in 
Kuna, Idaho. Fritz Shurmur, Eaton's defensive coach, 
has been successful as a professional football defen- 
sive coach who has written books on defensive foot- 
ball. Paul Roach, the backfield coach, moved on to a 
position at Wisconsin. Later, he returned to the Cow- 
boy program as athletic director and head football 

The University of Wyoming football team took 
over a decade before being able to recruit quality Black 
athletes and put together a winning season. Brigham 
Young University, despite the protests, became a domi- 
nant WAC power. The controversial policy of Black 
exclusion soon became a moot point. With increasing 
societal pressure and editorial attack, a revelation to 
the church's president changed Mormon doctrine. On 
June 1, 1978, the priesthood could now go to all men 
without reference to color. 

Now the events of fall, 1969, can be examined with 
a clarity that only time can give. The time that has 
elapsed should put an end to the ongoing recrimina- 
tions bandied about as fact. Former participants claim 
prescience at each twist in the unfolding saga and 
ramble on with anecdotal tales of self-importance. 
Because no one recorded information about statements, 
meetings, actions, and threats, time has allowed for 
multiple distortions of the historic record. Documen- 
tation in official files is limited. Public records have 
been lost as individuals have retired, limiting an accu- 
rate assessment of the incident. It is surprising in an 
academic community no record or journal has come to 
light. Such records that were invaluable in document- 
ing the 1964 events at the Berkeley protests are con- 
spicuously absent in Laramie. 

Winter 1Q96 

1 "Reagan Claims Chicago Violence Part of Conspiracy." Laramie 
Daily Boomerang, September 3, 1968. Reagan said a nationwide 
conspiracy plotted the disturbances at the Democratic National 
Convention in Chicago and at Berkeley. "This is a plot There is a 
conspiratorial side to it... I think we were up against a professional 
job." On February 1. 1967. in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. 
J. Edgar Hoover attributed campus unrest to "communist" WEB. 
DuBois Clubs and called Students for Democratic Society ( SDS ) a 
pro-Red Chinese group. 

2 "Cleveland Riot Said "Plotted'." Casper Star-Tribune, July 25. 
1968. 1 Major General Sylvester T. Del Corso, in charge of the 
Ohio National Guard in Cleveland agreed with Major Carl B. Stokes 
that there had been FBI information of a four-city plot. Del Corso 
was later involved at the Kent State University shootings. Glen 
Willardson. "Who Leads Campus Revolts?" The Daily Universe. 
May 2. 1969. 

3 Dr. Harry Edwards was a former athlete. He was the author of 
Black Students (1970). The Revolt of the Black Athlete ( 1 970). and 
Sociology of Sport ( 1973). He was vilified around the country as 
an agitator and troublemaker. He was good friends with another 
famous "uppity Black." National Basketball Association's peren- 
nial All-Star Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics. 

4 "The Angry Black Athlete." Newsweek 72 ( 15 July 1968): 57D: 
Jack Olsen, "In An Alien World," Sports Illustrated 29 (July 15, 
1968): 41: Jack Olsen. "A Shameful Story." Sports Illustrated 29 
(July 1. 1968): 17. 

■ The Western Athletic Conference was formed from the Mountain 
States Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, commonly known as 
the Skyline conference. In 1 969 the WAC consisted of the Univer- 
sity of Utah, Utah State University, the University of New Mexico, 
the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming, Brigham Young University. Colorado State Uni- 
versity, and University of Texas-El Paso. 

' For more detail see Newell Bringhurst. "An Ambiguous Deci- 
sion: The Implementation of Mormon Priesthood Denial for the 
Black Man — A Reexamination," Utah Historical Quarterly 46 
(Winter 1978): 45-64. 

7 Jeff Nye, "Memo from a Mormon: In which a troubled young 
man raises the question of his Church's attitude toward Negroes." 
Look, October 25. 1963, 75: Time. October 18. 1963, 83. 

* Ibid. At this time, the Nigerian government refused resident vi- 
sas to LDS missionaries from the United States because of the 
Church's racial policy. 

9 Ibid. 256. Black leaders from Utah and the National Association 
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) threatened to 
picket the Church's semiannual conference in the fall of 1963 un- 
less the Church denounced segregation. Time magazine commented 
that Mormons "are unsympathetic toward the Negro . . ." Time. 
October 18, 1963.83. 

111 William J. Whalen. The Latter-day Saints in the Modern Day 
World (Notre Dame. Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. 
1964). 255. 


Wyoming History Journal 

11 In 1951. Church president designate Ernest Wilkinson espoused 
the need to use BYU athletics to glorify the LDS Church and to ". 
. . demonstrate the physical superiority" of those of a single moral 
standard abstaining from alcohol and tobacco." Gary James Bergera 
and Ronald Priddis. Brigham Young University: A House of Faith 
(Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985). 276. 

12 Only one Black per year matriculated at BYU until the 1970s. 
Until the late 1960s only four Blacks had ever graduated from BYU. 

13 Bergera and Priddis. 298. The authors describe a form letter sent 
to Black applicants informing them there were "no families of your 
race" around Provo. They were also issued a stern warning regard- 
ing the church's prohibition of interracial marriages and interracial 

14 Jack Olsen. "In An Alien World," Sports Illustrated 29 (July 1 5. 
1968): 30. UTEP was formerly called Texas Western. The school 
shared a track rivalry with San Jose State, the school of Dr. Harry 
Edwards, and Olympians Tommy Smith and John Carlos, leading 
some to speculate that an Edwards visit to UTEP prompted the 
boycott. Olsen minimizes Edwards' role. Joseph Ray. On Becom- 
ing a University (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1968), 89. The 
former president of UTEP merely states that the Blacks "devel- 
oped an aversion" to competing against BYU. 

15 One of the dismissed Blacks was Robert Beamon, Gold medal 
w inner and world record setter in the long jump at the Mexico City 
1968 Olympic games. His record jump was not broken until Mike 
Powell set a new record jump on August 30, 1992. 

16 Robert J. Johnson. ""Writer Reviews Athletic Problems," The 
Prospector (UTEP. El Paso). April 26, 1968, 7. Mike Elvitsky. 
""Blacks To Boycott?," The Daily Spartan (SJS, San Jose), No- 
vember 1 9, 1 968. 1 . John Robert Muir. "Council Says Cancel BYU 
Football Game." The Daily Spartan. November 21, 1968. 1. John 
Apgar. "SJS Demands Cancellation," The Daily Universe (BYU, 
Provo). November 27, 1968, 1. "Lobo Student Senate Severs BYU 
Relations." The Coloradan (CSU, Fort Collins). April 6. 1969, 12. 
""New Mex. May Sever Relations With BYU," The Daily Universe, 
March 25. 1969. 3. Marcie Lynn Smith, "Senate Delays 'explo- 
sive' plea," The Student Press (ASU. Tempe). September 26, 1969, 

1 . Don Podesta, "BYU boycott urged," The State Press. October 

2. 1 969. 2. "ASU Demonstration Charges Racism," The Daily Uni- 
verse, October 6, 1 969, 4. 

17 The number of Blacks on the Laramie campus is difficult to de- 
termine. The newspaper accounts refer to 29 Black varsity athletes 
as 20% of the Black student population. Other accounts employ 
the figure of 1 50 Blacks which merely proceeds in completing the 
logical arithmetical step. With the 1990-1991 Black student popu- 
lation set at 89. it would hardly seem logical that there would be 
150 Blacks on campus in 1969. Deborah Hardy. Wyoming Uni- 
versity (Laramie: University of Wyoming. 1986). 218. reports 33 
Black male students and 4 Black women. This figure is probably 

18 Stanley Hathaway, telephone interview with author. Cheyenne. 
Wyoming. November 5. 1990. 

19 The former chairman of the radiology department at the School 
of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University, Carlson was 

recommended to the Wyoming search committee by Wyoming 
United States Senator Clifford Hansen. There was a belief that 
Carlson's political ties with United States Senator Gordon Allott 
of Colorado would serve Carlson well as a fund raiser in Republi- 
can Wyoming. Presidential Files at the University of Wyoming. 

20 Hathaway was proud to be in control of a state in which the uni- 
versity had not had the strife present on other state campuses. He 
agreed, as did many in the state, with the anonymous faculty mem- 
ber quoted in Wyoming University, by Dr. Hardy, p. 2 1 4, that "out- 
side people could have a very bad effect on our basically sound 
students." During the summer of 1969, Hathaway sent President 
Carlson newspaper articles detailing what other universities were 
doing to prepare for the fall onslaught of campus radicalism (from 
the presidential files of the University of Wyoming). Legal advi- 
sor to the Board of Trustees, Joseph Geraud, prepared materials, 
outlining campus procedures in the event of campus disorders. 
These materials were presented to the Board of Trustees of the 
University of Wyoming in October of 1968 (from the Minutes of 
the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees). Carlson was quoted 
as saying. "If we have any trouble it will be brought in from out- 
side by subversive elements." Robert Berts. "Wyoming Busy Learn- 
ing. Not Demonstrating," Laramie Daily Boomerang, September 
13, 1968, 22. The Wyoming press lauded Governor Hathaway for 
his tough stance on "hippies" and unwanted elements coming into 
Wyoming. Thomas Hough, "File of Anti-Hippie Letters Keeps Pace 
With Those of Pacifist Side," Laramie Daily Boomerang. July 6, 
1968, 15. "The reputation for firmness in dealing with disorders is 
the best insurance against a situation getting out of hand." Edito- 
rial, "Riot Insurance," Casper Star-Tribune. July 12, 1968. 4. 

21 "UW Stadium to Expand by Fall of "70." Casper Star-Tribune. 
October 14, 1969.9. 

22 Jerry Berry, Tony Gibson, John Griffin, Lionel Grimes, Mel 
Hamilton, Ron Hill. Willie Hysaw, Jim Isaac, Earl Lee. Don Mead- 
ows, Tony McGee. Ivie Moore, Ted Williams, and Joe Williams. 

23 Another Black from Hanna, Wyoming, was Marquette Frye. In 
1957, the Frye family had moved to Los Angeles, California, be- 
cause of a downturn in the Wyoming coal mining industry. 
Marquette gained attention as one of two Blacks harassed by the 
Los Angeles Police. The attempted arrest of Frye was seen as the 
trigger of the 1965 Watts riots. Robert Conot, Rivers of Blood, 
Years of Darkness (New York, Bantam Books, 1967), 3-29. 

24 Doug Reeves, "From the Sidelines," Laramie Daily Boomer- 
ang. October 14. 1969. 

25 "Pitt Considering Wyoming Grid Coach Lloyd Eaton," Rocky 
Mountain News (Denver), January 20, 1969, 62. "Eaton 'Quietly' 
Visits Pittsburgh Campus," Rocky Mountain News (Denver), Janu- 
ary 22. 1969. 56. The Wyoming papers did not report this story. 

26 Hardy ,218. Interview with Tony McGee, Centerville, Virginia. 
November 12. 1990. 

27 Interview with Hakeem Wilson, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
November 5, 1990. Tony McGee interview. Interview with Will- 
iam Young, former Director of Sports Information at the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, March 26, 1991. According 
to Paul Roach. Eaton's offensive backfield coach and former head 


football coach and athletic directer. "Lloyd is a taskmaster, a fun- 
damentalist and a strong man." Quoted in "UW Assistant Coach 
Receives Other Offer." Laramie Daily Boomerang. January 3. 1 970. 

28 John Underwood. "The Desperate Coach." Sports Illustrated 31 
(September8. 1969), 37. 

:q Carl Skiff. "Showdown at Laramie." Empire Magazine of The 
Denver Post. November 2. 1969. 30. Steve Luhm. "A Decade 
Ago: Dissention. Drama and Decision at Wyoming." Laramie Daily 
Boomerang. October 20. 1 979. 1 . 


Wilson interview. 

11 Interview with Melvin Hamilton. Casper. Wyoming. December 
8. 1990. "Mel's Not Rusty Now Despite That Layoff." Wyoming 
State Tribune (Cheyenne). October 8. 1969. 30. Hamilton intended 
to go to Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins. Colo- 
rado, but he did not because he would have lost credits, and he had 
had a "taste of success" in the Wyoming program. 

3: McGee interview. Also reported in numerous newspaper ac- 
counts after "the incident." 

33 Wilson interv iew . 

34 James A. Michener. Sports in America (New York: Random 
House. 1976). p. 161. 


Hardv. 218. Wilson interview. McGee interview. 

36 McGee interview. 

37 Hamilton interview. McGee interview. Also, newpaper accounts 
and the time and reports of court testimony. 

38 Also present was BSA faculty adviser Roger Daniels, who had 
been the first to notify Carlson of the situation. Interv iew with 
Joseph Geraud. former legal adviser to President Carlson. Laramie. 
Wyoming. February 14, 1991. Young interview. Interview with 
Willie Black. Chicago. Illinois. April 4. 1991. Hathaway interview. 

30 Pat Putnam. "No Defeats. Loads of Trouble." Sports Illustrated 
(November 3. 1969). 27. 

Winter 1996 

44 Interv iew with Dr. James Hook, education professor at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming. Laramie. Wyoming. March 14. 1991. Also, 
newspaper accounts. "Cowboy Homecoming Has Pro-Eaton Air," 
Casper Star Tribune. October 26. 1969. 


40 Putnam. 27. Geraud interv iew. Hathaway interview. NCAA News. 
(December 1969). 2-3. 

7 "Black student group will boycott game." The Prospector (UTEP. 
El Paso). October 24. 1969. 1. Robert Zuck. "Violence Mars Foot- 
ball Game." The Prospector. October 28. 1969. 1. 

48 "csu students Demand Support For Poke Blacks." Rocky Moun- 
tain News (Denver). October 22. 1969. 47. 

4Q "ASUA supports Wyoming 14." The Prospector. November 4. 

3 "New Mexico Lobos Asked to Study Withdrawal From WAC 
by UMCLU." Laramie Daily Boomerang. October 22. 1969. 8. 

51 The Branding Iron (University of Wyoming. Laramie). Novem- 
ber 21. 1969. 

52 "U of A campus simmers weeks after near not." State Press ( ASU. 
Tempe). February 10. 1970. 1 

"Halftime Protest Erupts: Seven People Arrested." The Colle- 
gian (CSU. Fort Collins). February 6. 1970. 1. 

54 "Flying Bricks Heighten Tension On Eve of UNM-BYU Court 
Battle." Laramie Daily Boomerang. February 28. 1970. 1 1 . Calvin 
Horn. The University in Turmoil and Transition Crises Decades 
at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque: Rocky Mountain 
Publishing, 1981). 35. 

"89 5 Ct. 733. 1969. 

5b Williams v. Eaton. 310 F.Supp. 1342(1970). "Gridders" Names 
Are Off UW Suit." Laramie Daily Boomerang. June 24. 1970. 9. 
"Oral Arguments Set In 'Black 14' Case," Laramie Daily Boomer- 
ang. May 16. 1972. 7. Hamilton interview. 

40 Ibid. "Faculty Senate Seeks Query." Laramie Daily Boomer- 
ang. October 21.1 969. Presidential Files of the University of Wyo- 

41 Many student newspapers and major dailies covered the story 
including Christian Science Monitor. New York Times. San Fran- 
cisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Washington Post, and Sporting 

42 Putnam. 27. 

43 Many newspaper accounts and a photograph appeared in Life 
magazine. "Armbands Against Wyoming." (November 14. 1969). 


Such was the case in Laramie in its basketball game with BYU. 
The National Guard was also brought into Laramie before the foot- 
ball game in October. 

58 -BYU Petition." The Daily (University of Wahington. Seattle). 
February 4. 1970. 1. 

Historian Clifford A. Bullock holds the M. A. de- 
gree in history from the University of Wyoming. He 
presently lives in New Hampshire. This article was 
adapted from Bullock's master's thesis on the 
"Black 14" incident. 


Sundance, c. 1900 

3H)e Cjmrdj of tlje #ootr ^ftepljerb 

in J&unbance: 

Wyt &ecortr of 3Jt* Jf irsft 3Becabe 

$p iUlarp Htean Wilson 

jftflore than a century ago, the first Episcopal church 

in Sundance was formed and the building constructed. 
The story, told in church records and newspaper accounts, 
demonstrates how the persistence and dedication of 
church officials brought into existence churches in lightly 
populated areas where many held high hopes of reli- 
gious success. 

When the missionary district of Wyoming and Idaho 
was created by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal 
Church of the United States of America in October, 1 886, 
Wyoming was still a territory and Crook County had 
been organized just the year before. 

Sundance was a thriving town by 1 886. It had started 
as trading post established on a ranch for other ranchers 
in the area in 1 879. According to some reports, it boasted 
two hotels, a post office, one or two grocery stores, two 
attorneys, a liquor store, a general store, a blacksmith, 
livery stable, carpenter shop, a newspaper and a school. 

In the 1880s the Rev. Ethelbert Talbot was the rec- 2 Ibid., 5. 


tor of St. James Church in Macon, Missouri, and the 
headmaster of St. James Military Academy for boys. 
Talbot was elected the first bishop of the new mission- 
ary district of Wyoming and Idaho, much against his 
will. He wanted to stay where he was! He was finally 
consecrated in Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, on May 27,1887, and left for Wyoming in July. 1 

The new diocese over which Bishop Talbot presided 
was geographically large but had few churches. One of 
the first tasks he had was to establish congregations. To 
this end he made visits to the various communities that 
had grown up in the territory. He was not above visiting 
the local saloon if that was the only place to find a con- 
gregation. 2 

Bishop Talbot made his first visit to Sundance some- 
time in 1 888 and held the first Episcopal services there 
1 Rev. Ethelbert Talbot, My People of the Plains (New York: Harper 
and Brothers, 1906), 2, 3. 

in the building that served as the public school. During a 
second visit in 1889, he held services in the Methodist 
Church during which he baptized several children. 1 (The 
Methodist structure had been built the previous year). 
Records in the Crook County Clerk's office in Sundance 
show that he made a visit in May, 1889, and purchased 
two and one half lots on Main Street for $25. 4 This piece 
of land, "behind Adams Brothers' store," was later sold, 
presumably to finance construction of a church.'' 

He visited again in July, 1889. and purchased an- 
other plot of ground farther east on Main Street contain- 
ing three lots for $ 1 00. It was on this second piece of 
ground that the Church of the Good Shepherd was built. 

On July 12, 1890, (two days after Wyoming became 
a state), Talbot made another visit, accompanied by the 
Rev. Charles E. Snavely, the new priest in charge. The 
next day, according to Snavely's account, "the Holy Com- 
munion was celebrated, and Evening Prayer was read 
by Bishop Talbot, assisted by Rev. Mr. Snavely. in the 
Methodist Church. One person. Miss Myrtle Hazelton, 
was Baptized; and two persons, Miss Hazelton and Miss 
Bertha Alden were Confirmed." h 

Church officials then turned their attention toward 
constructing a church building. On Sept 1, 1 890, the first 
shovel of earth was thrown out for the foundation of the 
new church, on the Main Street lots. The Sundance Lodge 
No. 9 A.F. & A.M., laid the cornerstone on Oct. 8 with 
the customary church services. The ceremony was de- 
scribed in the Sundance Gazette in an article apparently 
written by Rev. Snavely: "At 3 p. m. on Wednesday.. 
October 8th, Sundance Lodge No. 9 A.F. & A.M. as- 
sembled in the Lodge room on Main Street. Soon after 
they filed out and formed in Line, and headed by the 
Sundance Silver Cornet band, marched to the corner of 
Main and Sixth Street, where the church is in process of 
erection. Here they were met by the Revs. Messrs. John 
E. Sulger, the general missionary and archdeacon of the 
Diocese, and Charles E. Snavely. the Rector of the Par- 
ish. When the band had rendered a beautiful selection of 
music, the ceremony of laying the corner stone [was 
held]." 7 The stone was "a beautiful block of brown 
marble."* Following the laying of the stone, "the Rector 
then introduced the Rev. John E. Sulger, who made a 
very eloquent address. The Rector then made a short 
address, after which a collection was taken towards the 
furnishing of the new church, amounting to $ 1 9.66. Af- 
ter this, hymn 202 was sung, prayers were read and the 
blessing pronounced by the Rector, and thus ended one 
of the most beautiful services ever witnessed in this city.'" J 
The article concluded: "We are most grateful to the Rev. 
Mr. Sulger for his visit amongst us, and for the eloquent 
addresses he gave us. In order to come here, he post- 

Winter 1996 
poned the laying of the corner stone of his own church."" 
The ceremonies continued in the evening with a service 
in the court house. There, "the Rev. Mr. Sulger preached 
a very earnest forcible sermon. The singing by the church 
choir was a marked feature of this service, and the sing- 
ing of the anthem was exceptionally fine."" 

As Snavely wrote: "It was named 'The Church of 
the Good Shepherd.' Addresses were made by the Rev. 
John E. Sulger, General Missionary of the Jurisdiction 
of Wyoming and Idaho; and the Rev. C. E. Snavely, Pnest 
in Charge of Mission. An offering was taken for the 
Building Fund. In the evening Rev. Mr. Sulger preached 
at the service held in the Court House, while we were 
without a Church, we held services for four weeks in the 
Methodist Church; the rest of the time, the County Com- 
missioners kindly placed the Court House at our dis- 
posal." Sulger was the rector of Christ Church, 
Newcastle. Bishop Talbot had arranged for the building 
of that church at the same time the Sundance church 
was being built. 

Construction on the foundation of the new church 
was begun September 19. 1890, by Nefsy Brothers, a 
construction firm in Sundance. As Snavely reported: "The 
church will consist of a nave 24x36, chancel 8x14, ves- 
try 8 ff. 9 in. x 12, and porch 5x8. The interior will be 
finished in gothic style, with the rafters projecting, and 
the spire will be 54 ft. from ground to top of cross. Nefsy 
Bros, are pushing the work forward as rapidly as pos- 
sible, and expect to have the building completed on or 
before Dec. 1st." 12 

1 "History of the Parish," Book B. Early Records of the Church of 
the Good Shepherd. 

4 llone Williamson, "Crook County Commentaries." Bits & Pieces 4. 
3 Early records of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Book A. The 
exact location is noted by Snavely. "History of the Parish." Book A. 
6 Ibid. 

7 The ceremonies were previewed in the Sundance Gazette. Sept. 26. 
1 890. The event was meticulously reported afterward in the Sundance 
newspaper. "Beautiful and Impressive Ceremonies at the New Epis- 
copal Church Foundation." Sundance Gazette. October 10, 1890. 
"Sundance Gazette. Oct. 10. 1890. 

] "Ibid. The article lists the contents of the box placed inside the cor- 
nerstone. Included were copies of the Sundance Gazette, newspa- 
pers published in Deadwood and Newcastle, the Bible, the Book of 
Common Prayer, various religious publications, a copy of the ser- 
vice, the roster of the Sundance Masonic Lodge, the names of teach- 
ers and pupils of Sundance public school, the names of the mayor, 
city council and city clerk of Sundance, and the city ordinances. 

] ~Ibid. Among those who worked with the Nefsy Brothers was 
Herman Sommers. who built the pews. Sommers used a set of hand- 
made planes for his work which are now the property of Vera 
Sommers, the widow of Herman's son. George. 


Wyoming History Journal 

Efhelbert Talbot, Pioneer Episcopal Bishop 

On Sunday, January 11, 1891, the new church was 
opened for services. Bishop Talbot officiated at the con- 
secration of the new building. According to Snavely, 
"Bishop Talbot preached twice, celebrated the Holy 
Communion, Baptized 3 adults and 5 children and con- 
firmed a class of six persons. The altar, carpet, organ, 
pews. ..were given by the Ladies Guild. Lectern and 
Prayer Desk, by Rev. Messrs. Hoffman and Hopkins. 2 
imitation stained glass windows were given by St. 
Clement's Church Philadelphia; 2 by Mrs. Florence 
Skottowe; I by Mr. and Mrs. Thos. H. Moore; 1 by Mr. 
and Mrs. J. S. Harper; and 1 by Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Meeks. 
The chancel window was given by Mr. and Mrs. F. F 
Rounds. The Communion Service was given by Grace 
Church Elizabeth, New Jersey." Two days later, Talbot 
consecrated Christ Church in Newcastle. 

Bishop Talbot returned once again in June, 1 89 1 , at 
which time Snavely presented Edward H. Parnell as 
Ordered Deacon in the Church. "The Bishop celebrated 
the Holy Communion, baptized 3 adults, and Confirmed 
a Class of 8 persons. At this. Evening Service, he an- 
nounced the resignation of the Priest in Charge, on ac- 
count of his inability to stand the high altitude." n The 
next day, June 29, the Bishop, assisted by the Rev. F H. 
Parnell, performed the marriage ceremony of the Priest 
in Charge to Miss Sarah E. Williams. On the same 
evening, he confirmed a class of 8 at Canon Ridge Di- 
vide near Sundance." It was apparently the first wed- 
ding in the new church. 14 Snavely and his new bride left 
Sundance in July, 1 89 1 , for Weiser, Idaho. He included 
the following statistics in his report to the congregation: 

Baptisms 60 Confirmations 22 


Burials 8 Marriages 2 

Number of Communicants 28 

During the year that Rev. Snavely was in charge, a 
diphtheria epidemic swept through the area. Seven of 
the eight burials over which he officiated were for in- 
fants or small children who died of the disease. The other 
burial was that of Florence Skottowe, wife of J. Coulson 
Skottowe and a communicant of Good Shepherd. Snavely 
noted that this was the first communicant to die. She 
died in childbirth. 15 

The above mentioned record books are the earliest 
record books of the Church of the Good Shepherd avail- 
able. Information in them is sketchy at best. Baptismal, 
burial and marriage records are among the most com- 
plete. There is also a listing of communicants and of 
families in the parish. 

Rev. Snavely left few records concerning services. 
The first records of services held are for 1 893. On July 2 
of that year, services were celebrated by J. E. Sulger, 
and again on August 27. In the period between those 
services, J. C. Skottowe served as Lay Reader. 16 

On September 1,1893, Bishop Talbot was the cel- 
ebrant, assisted by Rev. Arnold Leutton. The next listing 
is for 1896. On January 7, 1896, Bishop Talbot was again 
the celebrant, this time assisted by P. Gavan Duffy who 
had succeeded Snavely. 

"I arrived here in company with the Lord Bishop of 
the Diocese on January 8, 1 896, and was left in charge 
of the Parish. I find that in the interval between the Rev. 
C. Snavely's incumbency and my advent the parish was 
in charge of a Priest for a little over six months who was 
succeeded by the present Rev. Coulson Skottowe, then 
Reader in Charge. I preached my introductory sermons 
on the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany (Jany. 12), & then 
settled down to parochial work." Duffy found that a num- 
ber of people who had been early communicants had 
moved from Sundance. "In Lent we made an addition to 

"History of the Parish. 

l4 In his history of the parish, Snavely states that there were 
two marriages during his stay in Sundance — his own and one 
other. According to the record book, he performed the second 
ceremony in the home of the bride. 

l5 Book A. A listing in the baptismal record in Record Book A 
states that an infant child of J. C. Skottowe was baptized at 
his father's ranch just before the burial service was read over 
his mother's remains. According to that record, the child was 
taken to Ireland to live with his grandmother. A duplicate list- 
ing in Record Book B states that his father was going to take 
him to England but would not do so until he was baptized. 
Later records indicate the younger Skottowe returned to the 
Sundance area. 

Winter lWh 

Cfmrrf) officials; responbeb to local called for clnird) establishment anb 
Sato to tt tljat tljep fcuere Serueb. Hater priests anb parishioners built on 
tljose earliest of efforts. 

the place by supplying a long felt want vis: a bell which 
we got from the American Bell Foundry Company, 
Northville, Mich., for the sum of $12.00 being exactly 
half the original list price. The money for the bell was 
raised by the children in the Sunday School as a Lenten 
offering and will stand for many years." 

Duffy listed other accomplishments. One involved 
working with young people in the area. "Early in the 
year I organized the Girls of the Good Shepherd for 
young people..." 

In addition to services in Sundance. Duffy also went 
to Sunny Divide, William's School house and Wakeman 
School house. "In the spring I opened a Mission Station 
on Sunny Divide, holding services in Hawkins' log school 
house & later at Wakeman's School house, Highlands 
(recently destroyed by tire)." He reported that the ser- 
vices were well attended. "On the 12th of August the 
Bishop went out and baptized 16 adults & children & 
confirmed 7 persons. The people in these districts I know 
felt love for the Church & I fully believe they will in 
time become important centers of Church life. I also held 
services at a Mission Station founded by the Rev. C. 
Snavely — William's School House, Manhattan. In Feb- 
ruary Archdeacon Ware of S. Dakota visited us & bap- 
tized 2 adults & one boy in Sundance & at the Bishop's 
visit in August, 14 adults and children were baptized in 
the Church, & a class of 7 persons confirmed, making 
during the Bishop's Visitations, with the country classes, 
a total of 30 baptisms and 14 Confirmed." 

Duffy pointed out that he had visited most of the 
"outlying districts" within 25-30 miles of his church 
where he was "always well received & my ministrations 
always accepted readily by the people, which makes me 
think that Crook Co. will be won entirely in time to the 
Church of God." Duffy noted the following statistics from 
January 1896 to the Bishop's Visitation in August 1896: 

Baptisms 34 Confirmations 14 

Burials 1 Marriages 1 

Number of Communicants 48 
He added that he had "3 awaiting Holy Baptism & one 

One of Duffy's records lists the offerings collected 
during his year in Sundance. Collections ranged from 
five cents to the $3.20 taken in when Bishop Talbot vis- 
ited. 17 He also lists disbursements. 

During Duffy's tenure, services alternated, morn- 
ing one Sunday and evening the next. Occasionally, no 
collection was taken, usually because of severe weather 
or a congregation too small to warrant it. At other times, 
the collection was for some special purpose. 

On February 6, 1 896. the second recorded marriage 
in the Church of the Good Shepherd was celebrated. Just 
as in the case of the first wedding in the church, the groom 
was the priest. The Ven. Archdeacon Ware of Dead wood. 
South Dakota, officiated at the marriage of Duffy, listed 
as "age 23," and Mary Grant, 24. Although the residence 
for both was given as Crook County, the record also stated 
that Duffy came from England and his bride was from 
Elgin, Scotland. 

After Duffy's departure the following December, 
there are few records in the books. One name does ap- 
pear in the books: the Rt. Rev. A. R. Graves, Bishop of 
Laramie, who succeeded Bishop Talbot. In 1 897 the pio- 
neer bishop had been elected to the diocese of Central 
Pennsylvania and subsequently moved there. 

In the mean time. Rev. Snavely had gone from Idaho 
to Nebraska to South Dakota where he served six years 
on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He left there May 1 , 1 899, 
and returned to Sundance to the church that he had helped 
form. Prior to his return, Wm. B. Wilcockson served as 
Lay Reader in Charge. 

By the time of the last entry indicating Rev. Snavely 
as Priest in Charge, February 28, 1900, the Sundance 
church was well established. The first decade, like that 
experienced by other congregations in the early state- 
hood years, shows that church officials responded to lo- 
cal calls for church establishment and saw to it that they 
were served. Later priests and parishioners built on those 
earliest of efforts. 

17 All Duffy quotes are from Book A. 
ls BookB. 

Author Mary Jean Wilson lives in Sundance. A 
member of Wyoming Writers since 1980, she has 
written features for various Wyoming newspapers, 
including the Casper Star-Tribune. This article is 
extracted from her full-length history of the Church 
of the Good Shepherd, now in progress. 


Simon Durlacher, 

The Clothing Prince of Laramie 

By Amy M. Lawrence 

Although the name, Simon Durlacher, is all but forgotten, the building in Laramie that 
once housed his clothing emporium with his name boldly sculpted on an ornate metal 
cornice still stands as an impressive monument to this early pioneer Jewish merchant. The 
building is believed to be the second oldest standing business structure in Laramie, Wyo- 
ming, and is an important part of the architectural fabric of the Laramie Downtown His- 
toric District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1 988. 1 It is 
also a reminder of the important role that merchants played in establishing permanent 
townsites in the frontier west — a role that is seldom recognized by historians. 



This is particularly true on the Union Pacific corri- 
dor in the 1 860s where the merchant — often still housed 
in a tent — remained to anchor a town after the initial 
excitement and "boom town" prosperity of the "end of 
tracks" had moved westward. It was these merchants, 
along with doctors and other professionals, who helped 
to bring the new settlers back to the townsite to buy 
goods and settle instead of drifting on to another area. 
According to J. H. Triggs in History and Directory of 
Laramie City, Wyoming Territory: 

A majority of our merchant princes, business men and 
leading mechanics, are of the first settlers, several of whom 
came here with a very small capital and by close attention 
to their business have accumulated a respectable little 
fortune. lifting the veil of futurity, (they) saw that 
Laramie City was destined to be more than a great camp... 
and commenced the erection of more substantial business 
houses and residences.' 

Simon Durlacher was one such merchant and one 
of the many of German Jewish heritage who sought 
wealth and security on the Wyoming frontier. He had 
come to Laramie a few weeks before the Union Pacific 
arrived in 1868 and by the time of his death in 1893. 
his family had become prominent in the social and fi- 
nancial structure of the fledgling city of Laramie. He 
was born in Schmieheim, Baden, Germany, on New 
Year's Eve in 1837, and came to the United States with 
his parents and several siblings in 1852. 3 They settled 
in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, where Simon attended 
schools and "learned the 
elements of business" 
which included clerking in 
a dry goods store. 4 

At the outbreak of the 
Civil War, on April 30, 
1 86 1 . Durlacher enlisted as 
a private in the Sixth Penn- 
sylvania Reserves, Com- 
pany H. He served for more 
than three years until he 
was "severely wounded" in 
the left shoulder at 
Gettysburg and had not re- 
covered sufficiently by the 
end of the war to see fur- 
ther action. 5 He was dis- 
charged June 1 1, 1864." 

Accounts of his move 
to the west differ slightly, 
but a family biography 
states that upon his dis- 

Winter 1996 
charge he was "told to go west for his health, he did 
with a pack on his shoulders. ..selling things, I believe." 7 
He went first to Burlington. Iowa, where he worked as 
a clerk at the L. Lehmann clothing store. 8 Durlacher 
joined the Masonic Lodge while in Burlington.' The 
fact that his daughter, Hilda, spent the summer in 
Burlington in 1 899,'"after Durlacher's death, indicates 
that he may have made lasting friendships there. 

He moved to Cheyenne in 1 867 and was employed 
by Ben Hellman in his dry goods store. Hellman also 
had set up a store in the tent city of soon-to-be Laramie" 
and Durlacher became manager of the Laramie store, 1 -' 
arriving in Laramie in April of 1868,'"' a month before 
the Union Pacific tracks came on May 9. u He also 
worked for a Mr. Frank." William Manesse was one 
of his fellow clerks and the two men became not only 
life-long friends, but business partners as well. For a 
short time they operated a store in a log cabin on the 
present location of the Durlacher building. Durlacher 
sold men's clothing on one side of the store and 
Manesse had his tobacco/jewelry counters on the other 
side. 1 " In August of 1872 the log building was razed to 
make way for the "Simon Durlacher and J. Manasse 
two-story brick building with an iron front," and on 
August 6 the Sentinel reports that the "brick block" 
was rising. 1 ' 

The second story of the building housed the first 
Masonic Hall constructed by the Laramie lodge, which 
in 1870 had become the third lodsje chartered in the 

Second Street, Laramie 


Wyoming History Journal 

» ." ?*2* ■ ? JT^iV*! ■ 

— ■»• -v "•■ •»■ ■»■ '"W*^ * » * • ♦ ♦ ♦ 

■'■*■* 1— 1 — --• — »i -*■«!» Ij "3 

. ^j^^joobmowswp'ww 


^ ... 

Simon Durlacher Building where the Grand Lodge of 
Wyoming was organized on December 15, 1874 

territory. The members had been meeting in the 
Donellan building just across the street, but in 1872 
the members voted to float bonds to finance the comple- 
tion and furnishing of the second story on the Durlacher 
building, which was then under construction. 18 
Durlacher was a dispensation member of the Laramie 
Lodge until 1880 when he affiliated with the local 
lodge, and served at various times as junior warden, 
master and treasurer. The Grand Lodge for the Terri- 
tory was chartered in this new meeting hall in 1874, 
and included the four lodges that had been organized 
by that time: Cheyenne, chartered in 1 868; South Pass, 
1869; Laramie; and Evanston, 1873. ,Q 

The impact of the Masonic and other similar fra- 
ternal organizations as a significant stabilizing factor 
in settling the West has never been evaluated, but it 
seems more than coincidence that Masonic meetings 
were held and Lodges were organized in many pioneer 
settlements soon after the townsites were occupied. The 
chronology of Free Masonry in Wyoming closely fol- 
lows the history of the state itself. The first Masonic 
meeting was held along the Oregon Trail in 1 862 dur- 

ing the July 4 encampment of a wagon train at the base 
of what is now known as "Independence Rock." A 
group of "about twenty Masonic brethren.... ascended 
the great rock as 'the sun set to close the day' and held 
an impromptu meeting of what they termed Indepen- 
dence Lodge No. 1 ." The Bible used in this meeting is 
currently in the collections of the Grand Lodge of 
Wyoming. 20 

The frontier west was a lonely and often danger- 
ous place where men were drawn together by the com- 
mon experiences, confidentiality and help guaranteed 
by the Masonic pledges. These groups often formed 
the nucleus of community spirit and cooperation that 
is necessary for building a town. Many civic leaders 
came from the Masonic membership and the pledge of 
"giving assistance to brothers in distress and of aiding 
a worthy cause of charity," was frequently the first such 
public assistance in these new communities. 21 

In 1 878, during one of his trips to the garment dis- 
tricts on the East coast to buy merchandise, Durlacher 
met Hannah Gross through a mutual friend and they 
were married in her uncle's home in Boston, October 
2. Hannah was also born in Koenigheim, the Baden 
duchy of Germany, Dec. 24, 1853, and she had come 
to Boston in 1870 to live with her uncle, Isaac Gross. 
Immediately after their wedding the couple returned 
to Laramie and moved into the house Simon had bought 
for his bride at 501 South Fifth Street. Hanna lived in 
this house until her death 51 years later. 

The Laramie Sentinel reported in 1 878 that "Our 
young friend Simon Durlacher has purchased the 
Klingerman mansion and is refitting it for the abode of 
himself and bride." 22 It was an 11 -room, two-and-a- 
half story structure and may have been the first home 
in Laramie constructed in a variation of the Shingle 
Style which had recently come into vogue on the East 
Coast. This rather eclectic style was especially popu- 
lar in resort areas. The free flowing form was charac- 
terized by an irregular roof line created by steep pitched 
roofs and gables, wrap around "verandas of various 
shapes and sizes," generous arched windows and more 
spacious rooms than the English Queen Anne Style 
which had "spurred on" this East Coast Mode." 23 The 
name derived from the fact that the exterior was at least 
partially covered with shingles — the upper stories of 
the Durlacher home were shingled and the lower story 
was brick. 

According to existing photos, other outstanding 
features were the corner entry onto the large porch ac- 
cented with carved posts and a large arched window 
on the west side, enhanced by a stained glass transom 


light and side lites. In 1888 Durlacher "excited the 
admiring interest of Laramie when he added some grand 
improvements..." to the interior of his home. These 
included "rich and novel wall papers and delicately 
tinted paints." 14 

The big house was built on the central hall design. 
with rooms to either side. The reception room is large 
with the stair rising to the upstairs rooms and double 
doors opening to the living room. Light carving deco- 
rated the newel post which held a molded figure of an 
armored man blowing a trumpet. This figure now stands 
in the Laramie Plains Museum. 25 

The success of the Durlacher business is reflected 
in a remodeling of the store building in 1883. 2 * The 
Laramie Boomerang reported: 

March 1 0. 1 883 — ... Simon Durlacher is mak- 
ing some radical improvements in his store. He 
will raise the ground floor and ceiling above, add 
forty feet in depth, so that when completed, it will 
be 100 feet deep (its present size). 

June 16 — ...Durlacher is now ready to receive 
and entertain the public in metropolitan quarters 
and style... the immense French plate glass windows 
cost SI 60 each. 

Aug. 4 — Durlacher has erected a beautiful 
bronze drinking fountain in front of his store. It is 
both useful and ornamental, a shrewd stroke of 
business and an evidence of public spirit on 
Simon's part which will be appreciated by our citi- 
zens. 27 

This fountain was slightly damaged when some- 
one mistook it for a hitching post. The horse reared 
back and pulled the fountain over. 28 Unfortunately, the 



'-"•: to - 

Durlacher home under construction 

Winter lQQf) 
fountain eventually disappeared. A final item in 1883 
indicates the extent of the remodeling as well as the 
prosperity and community status of the owner (and/or 
as an advertiser): 

Nov. 1 — Durlacher. the Clothing Prince, last Sat- 
urday evening illuminated his mammoth Empo- 
rium for the first time with gas. The effect was 
immense and his S500 plant is a success. 2 " 

This building and remodeling were meant to last! 
The 1993 renovations by the Chickering Bookstore 
revealed the floor joists which are 2" x 12"'s set on a 
1 2" center. These are the old joists and were true mea- 
surements, not the planed down versions a\ ailable now. 

The prosperous business also enabled Durlacher 
and his family to travel to Europe 'as well as to the 
East coast. 31 Contemporary newspapers report that their 
home was the scene of many social gatherings. They 
hobnobbed with the "elite" of the city, including the 
Edward Ivinson and Otto Gramm families. The three 
Durlacher daughters. Blanche Breeda. Hilda Helen and 
Jeanne Janet, were mentioned frequently in the social 
columns of the local papers. i: In 1897 Blanche, the 
oldest daughter, received her Normal degree from the 
University of Wyoming and later went to San Diego to 
continue her music studies. In 1899 the editor of the 
Boomerang announced that Miss Jean Durlacher "will 
have charge of the society columns and the three sis- 
ters and Mrs. Durlacher began the new century by "re- 
ceiving" at their home: 

The rooms of the Durlacher home were 

trimmed with mistletoe and holly. Afternoon tea 

was served the young gentlemen in the dining room. 

The tea was brewed at the table by one of the Misses 

Durlacher and refreshments served by Mrs. 


Simon was elected a county commissioner ( 1 874- 
1896), ,4 and was appointed to the Penitentiary Com- 
mittee by the governor in January of 1 878."' He was a 
Democratic delegate to the party's first state conven- 
tion in 1890,"' and was prominent in community af- 
fairs including an active participation in the 
Maennerchor Hall, both a member and promoter." 

As a charter member of the Custer Post of the Grand 
Army of the Republic (GAR) he was also active in the 
state organization serving as vice commander. 38 He was 
"much attached to the Grand Army of the Republic 
and preserved at home a complete record of the history 
of his regiment."" He and his wife also attended the 
Grand Army Encampment in Denver on at least one 
occasion. 4 " 


Wyoming History Journal 

Simon Durlacher died July 19. 1893. The first hint 
of ill health in the local papers had appeared the previ- 
ous August when it was noted that he "was seized with 
an attack of vertigo on the street near his store and fell 
to the walk." 41 Apparently his health failed rapidly af- 
ter that. In January he went to Jacksonville, Florida, 
where he remained for three months, but his condition 
was not much improved when he returned to Laramie 
in March. According to the "bulletins" issued in the 
Boomerang his condition worsened over the next four 
months. The paper stated that his sickness was "caused 
by a complication of diseases involving both the heart 
and lungs." 42 

The Boomerang had always been generous with 
its praises of Durlacher: 

Mr. Durlacher was one of the most successful 
merchants who ever transacted business in 
Laramie. He was careful, conservative and far- 
seeing ....He was not only a successful business 
man but an upright citizen whose word, men have 
been heard to say today, was as good as his bond. 
He held the universal respect and esteem of all who 
knew him. 45 

The funeral services were held at the family home 
under the direction of the Laramie Masonic Lodge, with 
Dr.J. H. Hayford as Chaplain. Pallbearers, all from the 
Custer Post, included Charley Reels. J. W. Connor. 
William Brandis. Henry Nottage, Fitch and Spalding. 
The paper concluded that "the cortege was one of the 
largest ever seen in Laramie." 44 

Durlacher left his wife in "good circumstances," 
and in August, she wrote to the manager of Penn Mu- 
tual Life Insurance Co., Denver, thanking him for the 
prompt action of his company in forwarding her the 
first of the yearly "splendid dividend" payments due 
from the $20,000 policy her husband had left her. 45 

On August 20 it was noted in the newspaper that 
"A. M. Bauman will take management of the Durlacher 
Clothing Store." and on September 9 a certificate of 
incorporation was filed by Bauman, his wife. Fannie, 
and Hannah Durlacher. Mrs. Bauman was Hannah's 
sister and she accompanied Mrs. Durlacher on a trip to 
Boston three days later. 40 

Bauman also had an interesting history in the Ter- 
ritory ■'. He had worked for Augustus Trabing, manag- 
ing the Trabing store "near Fort Fetterman." 47 During 
his tenure there the store was robbed, he was beaten 
and a state-wide search for the culprits headlined the 
Territorial newspapers for several months. 48 Bauman 
moved to the Laramie Trabing Store and finally opened 

his own grocery business in a building adjoining the 
Durlacher store on the south. However, the Durlacher 
business apparently went downhill under Bauman's 
stewardship, and in 1897 the Bauman stock of goods 
was closed out in a replevin case. 4 " A month later a 
piano and organ store moved into the Bauman location 
and on March 1 7, 1 898 the Boomerang reported that 
"the old and well known Durlacher Clothing company 
announced that they are about to close out their stock 
of goods and retire from business." The following De- 
cember the stock was sold to the Temple of Economy, 
another dry goods store in Laramie. 

In November 1 0. 1 909. the Boomerang carried the 
rather coy announcement that: 

There is every reason to believe that cupid will 
hold a special session of his couit at Lincoln (Nebr) 
tomorrow evening, uniting two well known resi- 
dents of this city in marriage. 

The two were indeed well known — Hannah 
Durlacher and Otto Gramm. who was described as "...a 
dominant personality in the political and economic life 
of Albany county and of Wyoming."' Their marriage 
on the following day at the home of Hannah's daugh- 
ter. Blanche (Mrs. Colt), was described as a "brilliant 
affair" and, after their wedding trip, the couple made 
their home at the Durlacher residence. The Gramm and 
Durlacher families had been close friends for many 
years. Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Nov. 11, 1846, of 
German parentage, Gramm had worked as a drug clerk 
in his native town until he came to Laramie in 1 870 to 
work for Dr. J. H. Finfrock. pioneer doctor and drug- 
gist. Here, he studied pharmacy and later opened the 
Laramie Drug Store. 51 Otto's first wife was Miss 
Catherine Sleret of Laramie whom he married in 1 870. 
and their only surviving daughter, Edith, died in 1905. 

Gramm was involved in virtually every aspect of 
Laramie's economic, political and social life. Gramm 
had served as president of the University Board of 
Trustees from 1 898 to 1 9 1 1 and held the same position 
on the Laramie City School Board for more than two 
decades. He was elected to the position of county trea- 
surer for six years, and was state treasurer for four years. 
He had also served as chairman of both the county and 
state Republican Committees. He was among the or- 
ganizers of the Laramie Rolling Mills, was a lessee of 
the Wyoming State Penitentiary buildings after the 
penitentiary was moved to Rawlins, and vice president 
of the Laramie, Hahn's Peak and Pacific Railroad, 
(Laramie Scenic Route). In 1 9 1 4 he organized the Fox 
Park Timber company and the Otto Lumber company. 


Winter 19Q6 

Durlacher House. 
Photo courtesy of 
the Laramie Plains 



"'*-'-• ■ -• m. -Ms 

and was one of the organizers of the first volunteer fire 
department. !: 

On December 1 7, 1 927, Otto Gramm, then 8 1 , died 
of heart failure following at attack of influenza.' 3 He 
was mayor of Laramie at that time and during his fu- 
neral "virtually every habitual activity" ceased, includ- 
ing the University of Wyoming, schools, banks, the 
post office and forestry service. President Crane deliv- 
ered the eulogy at the services which were held in the 
University gymnasium and final exams, which had been 
scheduled for that time, were postponed until after the 
funeral. 54 

Mrs. Gramm survived her second husband by only 
three years and the Republican noted that: 

The passing of Mrs. Gramm removes from our 
midst one of the few remaining pioneer leaders of 
the city... She had lived in her present house 51 
years, a unique record in the West. With it were 
associated all the notable events of her life. ..It was 
the scene of much gracious hospitality... 55 

Like many historic records these accounts reveal 
the sterile, basic details of the lives of these Laramie 
pioneers, but they also leave many questions unan- 
swered. What were these people really like? What 
were their dreams, their tragedies, their family life and 
perhaps most intriguing of all. how did these Jewish 
immigrants achieve not only an economic stature in 
the town, but earned the lasting affection and respect 

of their fellow citizens? 

A rare personal glimpse into their family life is 
provided by an excellent collection of family photos, a 
few family papers" and a recent interview with Mrs. 
Jean Louise Husted Hager, step-great-granddaughter 
of the Durlachers. 57 

Mrs. Durlacher often told her daughters of her early 
days in this frontier town. She enjoyed them all but it 
was a strange land for a girl from Boston... she always 
liked Laramie and made many lifelong friends here. 58 

One of her favorite stories was about Laramie"s 
unique water system: 

At first all the water had been hauled from the river 
and had to be purchased and stored in barrels. Later 
the first water system was inaugurated. Ditches 
were dug from the city springs and everyone ob- 
tained all of the water they needed from the ditches. 
Anyone who had to be out a night always carried a 
lantern. Mr. Durlacher kept his store open until 
late at night, sometimes until 11 or 12 o'clock. Mrs. 
Durlacher would often walk down to the store to 
meet him and walk home with him. She laughingly 
remarked that she often fell into the water barrels 
and ditches in spite of the lantern she carried.' 

The East Side School was being constructed dur- 
ing Hannah's first winter in Laramie and she recalled 
that: "There was at that time a great deal of discussion 
and criticism of the school board because the school 
was so far out of town." 60 

Wyoming History Journal 

The Durlachers were frequently mentioned in the 
columns of Laramie newspapers noting not only peri- 
odic trips to Cheyenne and Denver, or junkets to New 
York or Europe; but their participation in the continu- 
ous round of social events by the local "gentry." Their 
spacious home was often the scene of teas, card par- 
ties, dinners and receptions. The generous hospitality 
of the Durlacher home is perhaps reflected in "Hannah's 
Pound Cake Recipe," which, with total disregard of 
calories or chlorestral, includes a pound of sugar, ten 
eggs and a pound of butter. 01 

One of the most gala events at the Durlacher home 
was the "informal" wedding of daughter, Hilda, and 
Neale Roach. December 6, 1905, and the account of 
the celebration gives another glimpse into not only the 
Durlacher home, but the social customs (and flowery 
journalism) of that day: 

The wedding party (was) stationed under a be- 
witching canopy of smilax and magnificent yel- 
low chrysanthemums in the drawing room. The 
exquisite decorations of the apartment were all in 
yellow and green. ..The bride was most becomingly 
gowned in her traveling dress of rich reseda green 
satin cloth, the gloves, modish hat and carriage bag 
being in perfect harmony, and the costume being 
completed. a handsome ...boa and muffin grey 
squirrel. A sumptuous wedding breakfast was 
served in six courses. ..The spectacle presented in 
the dining room was rarely beautiful, the exquisite 
linens being all imported and the china the rare 
old set bearing the Durlacher monogram, which 
was made for Mrs. Durlacher in Europe twenty- 
five years ago. 6: 

The account continues, noting that "narrow ribbons 
of soft yellow were suspended from the electorlier 
which was prettily festooned with smilax." These rib- 
bons were attached to place cards with "water colored 
depictions of a charming bride and coy cupid. The 
reporter also noted that "In view of the informality of 
the occasion of the event, the array of presents. in- 
deed remarkable," including "rare and beautiful gifts 
of solid silver, cut glass, china, lace"... and others. 

Neale Roach was a notable addition to this already 
prosperous and popular family. He had attended 
Laramie schools and the University of Wyoming. A 
veteran of the Spanish American War he worked as a 
civil engineer in the state and was Albany County Sur- 
veyor from 1902 to 1906. He had insurance and real 
estate businesses and built the Roach building, now 
known as the Wagner building on Grand Avenue. He 


The Durlacher family pose for a photograph (above). Har, 1 
is seated, holding Charlene. Behind her are Neale Roach 'I 
his daughter Frances. Standing immediately behind Har, I 
is her daughter Hilda, married to Neale Roach. A sec i 
Durlacher daughter, Jeanne Tebbets, is seated at the r\ I 
Behind her is her husband. Standing with her stuffed bet 
granddaughter Virginia. Her parents, Blanche Colt ana 
husband, are standing behind her. Blanche also wc 
Durlacher daughter. 

Above, right: Hannah Durlacher 

Right: Hannah Durlacher is shown with family members, 
is reaching for Neale Roach 's hat. Seated next to her is 
ginia and next to her is Hilda and Hilda 's daughter Frar 
The others are not identified. 

Photographs courtesy of the 
Laramie Plains Museum 

Winter 1996 


Wyoming History Journal 

was also engaged in ranching, was a director of the 
First State Bank and "had extensive timber and lum- 
bering interests." 63 

From these fragments a portrait of Hannah 
Durlacher emerges that of a gracious woman of great 
strength, common sense, good taste and love of her 
family She survived — and overcame — the death of 
two husbands and a daughter; conserved the estate and 
family home and, as matriarch, protected and main- 
tained close family ties. 

Very little is known of Simon, in part, because of 
his early death. It was difficult for grandchildren who 
had never known him to preserve his memory. 
Charlene Hecht states that Otto Gramm was the only 
grandfather she remembered. The fact that Durlacher 
was a warm, caring man as well as an astute business 
man is reflected in the few family records available 
and in his obituary. Local newspapers paid him high 
tribute, impressive even when allowing for the extrava- 
gant journalism of the day: 

While he was naturally a man of retiring dis- 
position he enjoyed companionship. His friends 
were legion and he was an ever ready participant in 
the social pleasures of the group of his more inti- 
mate friends... He was a man of unimpeachable up- 
rightness and honesty. 6 " 

Although it was not uncommon for families to lose 
track of one another during the westward movement, 
due primarily to the difficulties of travel and commu- 
nication at that time, it seems curious that Durlacher 
seemingly made no attempt to keep in touch with ei- 
ther his parents or siblings. Neither the names of his 
parents or siblings are listed in the family histories avail- 
able and they are not even mentioned in his obituary. 
Even the fact that the older sons of large families were 
often sent out "on their own" to earn a living does not 
explain this complete lack of mention or contact." 

Other intriguing aspects of the Durlacher family 
are the questions arising from the fact that they were 
Jewish. How did this affect their lives in Laramie? Were 
they singled out for discrimination' 7 

Apparently, they did not practice Judaism in 
Laramie. There is no mention of Jewish celebrations 
in any of the social accounts in the local papers, a rabbi 
did not officiate at their funeral 66 and neither are buried 
in a Jewish cemetery. 6 " Jean Hager stated that she did 
not recall any mention of Judaism. In fact, she believed 
that the younger generations were unaware of the fact 
that the Durlachers were Jewish. 68 

There is no indication that their Jewish heritage 
affected the status of the Durlachers in the community 
or that they suffered any discrimination. This, too, was 
largely typical of the Western frontier. In Cheyenne, 
for instance, "amazingly few Jews... recall any anti- 
Semitic incidents," 69 and another source remarks about 
the "relative absence of anti-Semitism in the West." 
Eric Kohler, Associate Professor of History at the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming, calls this "a function of numbers — 
when there are not too many people and plentv of re- 
sources, there is no need for prejudice." 
* * * 

The impressive Durlacher monument stands todav 
in the Greenhill Cemetery as mute evidence of the 
prominence of this family. Not only does the large 
grey stone dominate its area of the cemetery, but the 
location of the plot, adjoining the speaker's platform 
in the GAR section, is one of the most important in the 
cemetery. 70 

The Durlacher home is now headquarters for the 
Salvation Army Corps. The exterior lines are little 
changed, but stucco has replaced the bricks. Extensive 
remodeling has erased most of the original interior, 
except the newel post, the doors into the central hall 
and the impressive folding doors between the dining 
room and the hall. But the hospitality that once made 
this home a social center in Laramie continues as the 
city's less fortunate are welcomed with meals and ser- 
vices in the chapel that was formed out of the library 
and music room. 

The influence of the families extends into the 
present day in Laramie, especially through the Roach 
estate. The house and its entire contents was willed to 
the Albany County Historical Society and are housed 
in the Laramie Plains Museum. The accession list 
shows more than 400 items from the Durlacher/Gramm/ 
Roach estates, including much of the fine china and 
glass now exhibited, and several pieces of hand carved 
furniture from the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary. 
One hundred and six books are listed as well as a large 
bell collection, a stamp collection and an 1886 map of 
Albany County by W. O. Owen. 

The Durlacher story is significant in Wyoming's 
history. It is the story, repeated many times over, of an 
important facet of settling of the frontier — the devel- 
opment of the social and economic structures in the 
small towns that supported the westward movement. 
The contributions Simon and Hannah Durlacher made 
to the Laramie community also underline the impor- 
tance of the merchant in developing new frontiers. 


' Located at 203 S. Second Street, the building was recently reno- 
vated and much of its historic fabric was restored and/or preserved 
to house the Chickering Bookstore. Owner Lois Mena carefully 
preserved the cornice, the second story facade and other remnants 
of the original building, removed the pseudo-Art Deco front of the 
first story and added a new store front compatible with the original 
Victorian era store front. 

2 J. H. Triggs, History and Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Ter- 
ritory, (Laramie City:Daily Sentinel, 1 875. Facsimile Copy, Laramie: 
Mountain States Litho., 1955), 15-17. 

' This is the only documentary mention of Durlacher's family. His 
obituary lists only his wife and daughters as survivors. 

4 Laramie Republican, obituary. July 19. 1893. Another account 
states that Durlacher had moved to Danville in 1 852. where he was 
"engaged in the merchandising business." Laramie Boomerang, July 
19. 1893. 

5 Laramie Boomerang, July 19. 1893. Durlacher obituary. No men- 
tion is made connecting the war wound and his final illness. 

* File Microcopies of Records in the National Archives: No. 1 23, 
Roll 117, Eleventh Census Of The United States, 1890, Schedules 
Enumerating Union Veterans And Widows Of Union Veterans Of 
The Civil War, Wyoming, Bundle 196. (Microfilm: National 
Archives.Wash.. 1948)3. 

7 Excerpt from a fragment of a letter from Babbitt (Tibbett) 
McCormack, a granddaughter of Simon and Hannah Durlacher. 
n.d.. Durlacher File, Laramie Plains Museum. 

K Burlington, Iowa City Directory, 1866, 62. Durlacher is not listed 
as a clerk in the Lehmann store, but the addresses are identical, 1 1 
Jefferson. By a striking coincidence, at least to the author, Durlacher 
boarded at the Lawrence House. Courtesy Burlington Public Li- 

9 Walter C. Reusser, History of the Laramie Lodge No. 5, A.F.& 
A.M. of Wyoming 1870-1970. Laramie: n. p. ,1970), 101. 

'" Laramie Boomerang, June 23, 1899. 

" Laramie Daily Sentinel, September 24, 1870, as cited in "Jews 
in Wyoming," Carl V Hallherg, Annals of Wyoming, 61:1, 14. 

12 "Brief History of the Durlacher-Gramm Family," (author 
unknown), Simon Durlacher file, Laramie Plains Museum. 

13 "A Brief History of the Durlacher-Gramm Family," Simon 
Durlacher file, Laramie Plains Museum. 

14 Triggs. Directory of Laramie City, Wyoming Territory, 5. 

15 "List of Merchants," Laramie Boomerang, May 6, 1871, includes 
Frank & Appel clothing store, but Hellman is not listed. E. Hellman 
appeared on a similar list published Oct. 17. 1872. 

Winter 1996 

16 Gladys B. Beery, The Front Streets of Laramie. (Laramie: 
Jelm) 1990. 173-176. 

17 There are several conflicting accounts about the original log 
building and its location and Manasse is not mentioned again as 
co-owner of the building. Nor has any record of the dissolution 
of their partnership surfaced. Apparently, however, there was no 
conflict between the partners as the families remained friends for 
many years. There is no record of the fate of the iron front. 

l(< This later became the Edward Ivinson Bank and was eventually 
torn down. 

|q Walter C. Reusser, P.M., History of the Laramie Lodge No. 3. 
A.F. &A.M. of Wyoming 1870-1970. (Laramie: n. p.. 1970). 9-12. 
In 1882 the Lodge sold its interest in the building for $1500 and 
moved to the new Cooper and Marsh building located on the 
south corner of the same block. No evidence of the Masonic 
meeting hall has survived the various changes in the building. 

20 Ibid., 1. 

21 Ibid., "As early as 1870 the minutes record donations for relief, 
aid for a brother stranded in a distant city, contributions toward 
funeral expenses of a sojourner, donation of a burial plot, 
assistance for the widow of a deceased brother, and other acts of 
charity." 1 1. 

22 Laramie Daily Sentinel, Nov. 13,1 878. Charles Klingerman 
was a local contractor and carpenter and Durlacher paid $2,000 
for the building. 

21 Spiro Kostof, A History of Architecture, Settings and Rituals. 
(New York:Oxford, 1985). 682. 

24 Gladys Beery, "Historic Mansion Houses Corps in Laramie, 
Wyoming," The War Cry, Nov. 25. 1978 (The Salvation Army 
Corps of Laramie had purchased the building in 1954 as a 
Service Center and this article was written in celebration of the 
100th birthday of the "mansion"). 

25 Ibid., 12 

2fl This may explain why the Masons sold the second story back 
to Durlacher. He needed the space. 

27 This was a tall ornate fountain with spouts on the urn portion 
at the top. and the water falling into a basin. Apparently the 
fountain could be used for drinking for people (at the spouts) and 
animals (in the basin). 

28 Boomerang. Nov. 2. 1893. 

29 No evidence of this gas lighting remains. 

30 "Hon. Simon Durlacher and family of Laramie City were east 
bound passengers yesterday, bound for a summer's European 
tour. Boomerang. Apr. 3. 1881. 


Wyoming History Journal 

31 "Simon Durlacher left for his annual business trip to New York 
this week, taking his wife and oldest daughter. They will be 
gone about six weeks. Boomerang, July 23, 1887. 

32 Blanche, who married C. H. Colt, died July 14; Hilda married 
H. N. Roach: and Jean married Dr. R. L. Tebbitt. The family 
custom of double names continued — the three Colt daughters 
were named Virginia Hannah, Frances Neale and Cloe Charlene. 

33 Boomerang. Jan. 2. 1900. 

34 Wyoming Blue Book Vol. I, Ed. Virginia C. Trenholm, Reprint 
of Part One. Wyoming Historical Blue Book, Marie Erwin, Ed. 
(Cheyenne: Pioneer. 1974), 342. 

35 Ibid. Jan. 7, 1878. 

41 Ibid.. Sept. 28, 1878. A later dispatch, Oct. 14, identified the 
store as the "Trabing Brothers ranch on Crazy Woman's Creek, 
28 miles north of this post [Fort McKinney]." 

48 There were several robberies including another robbery of the 
Trabing store and stage and mail robberies during the next few 
months according to stories in the Boomerang , October to 
December. 20.1878, when members of a "Road Gang" were 

4Q This suit enabled Mrs. Durlacher to reclaim full title to the 
merchandise under the terms of a chattel mortgage. No reasons 
are given for this failure, but there was a nation-wide depression 
during these years, and perhaps experience in the grocery 
business did not prepare Bauman for the men's clothing 

36 Boomerang. Aug. 8, 1890. Also listed were W. H. Holliday. 
Nellis Corthell. David Huskey. J. W. Connor. D. H. Breese and 
H. K. Evans. 

50 Obituary, copied from the Laramie Republican and Laramie 
Boomerang. Dec. 19. 1927. with the notation of another story on 
Nov. 20. 1927. Otto Gramm file. Laramie Plains Museum. 

37 This hall, "located on Third street" was built in 1886 and 
dedicated May 17 of that year. Boomerang, May 9, 1886. The 
hall was literally the community center of Laramie for many 
years. Everything from church socials to concerts, plays and 
dances were held there almost weekly. 

51 Located on the northwest corner of Second Street and 
Thornberg Avenue (Ivinson Avenue) catty corner from the 
Durlacher store. 

52 Obituarv. Otto Gramm file. Laramie Plains Museum. 

38 This organization was very important in both social and civic 
events in this post-Civil War period when much of the male 
populace were veterans of this war. 

1g Obituary. Boomerang. July 19. 1 J 
surfaced in current research. 

53. This record has not 

40 "Quite a delegation west to Denver this morning, most of them 
to attend the Grand Army Encampment. The delegation included 
Mr. and Mrs. Simon Durlacher. Mrs. Otto Gramm and daughter. 
Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Allen, Mrs. Mollie Ingersoll. Mrs. E. Prahl. 
C. W. Spalding, E. C. Holliday, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Fitch, Judge 
M. C. Brown and Mrs. M. E. Bramel. Boomerang, Apr. 16, 1890. 

41 Boomerang. Aug. 17, 1892. 

42 No record has surfaced to indicate that this illness was related 
to his war injury. 

41 Boomerang, July 19, 1893. 

44 These men were all prominent in Laramie and their names are 
included here to emphasize the status of the Durlacher family in 
the community. 

45 Boomerang, Aug. 21, 1893 

46 Boomerang. Sept 13. No reason was given for the trip. 
Perhaps Mrs. Durlacher, relieved of the burden of running the 
store and still grieving for her husband simply wanted "to get 

53 Gramm's estate listed the following heirs: Frances Colt 
Pennell. Charlene Colt Miller. Jean Durlacher Tebbitt and Hilda 
Durlacher Roach, executrix. W. W. Husted was administrator. 
Durlacher Collection. Laramie Plains Museum. 

54 The enrollment of the University at that time was much smaller 
and all exams were held in the old "Half Acre." Several classes 
were held simultaneously. The old "study chairs" with their 
wide arms were spaced far apart and the several classes were 
separated by even wider aisles. Professors usually patrolled the 
aisles to discourage the many inventive methods of "cribbing." 

55 Four grandchildren were listed in the obituary: Virginia (Mrs. 
Ward Husted): Frances: and Charlene (Mrs. Richard Hecht) 
daughters of Mrs. Colt; and Bobbette Tebbitt. A brother and two 
sisters were also listed: Jacob Gross. Mrs. Fannie Bauman and 
Mrs. Sophie Strauss, all of Denver. Laramie Republican. Jan. 
15, 1930. Her estate included a list of furnishings for four 
bedrooms, hall, library, parlor, dining room, servants, service 
room and kitchen: mercantile building (Durlacher store) and 
grazing land. Durlacher file, Laramie Plains Museum. 

56 Most of these photos are housed at the Laramie Plains 
Museum in Laramie. Wyoming, as a part of the Roach estate 
which was willed to the Albany County Historical Society. 

57 First interview July 14, 1995, second interview and editing of 
transcription. August, 1995. Tape and transcription in posses- 
sion of the author. Hilda Hannah. Durlacher's second daughter 
had married H. N. Roach and following their marriage they lived 
in the Durlacher home with Hannah. Hilda was known as "Aunt 
Tommy" to the Husted girls who frequently visited the Roach/ 


Winter 1QQ6 

Durlacher home, and it is through her shared memories that Jane 
knew the Durlachers:Mrs. Durlacher was called "Nammy" by her 
grandchildren and she was much loved — but strict. The Colt 
children often spent summers with their grandmother and stayed 
there while attending the University . 

8 "A Brief History of the Durlacher-Gramm Family." Simon 
Durlacher file, Laramie Plains Museum. 

59 Ibid. 

60 "History of Durlacher-Gramm Families." Laramie Plains 

01 Frontier Favorites, a Cookbook Dedicated to Albany Counft 1 's 
First Ladies. Laramie Civic League (n.p.:Laramie. 1967). 23. 
The recipe was submitted by Mrs. Charlene Hecht, granddaugh- 
ter of the Durlachers. This book, a project of the Centennial 
Jubilee ( 1868 to 1968). combines "treasured" recipes with 
snippets of Albany County history. It is dedicated to "those who 
came w ith the wagons and early trains to a then unsettled land," 
and is available at the Laramie Plains Museum bookstore. 

Durlacher file. Laramie Plains Museum. 

6 The Masons officiated at Simon's funeral, which was held at 
home and Hannah had requested that the only service be at the 
graveside where the Women's Relief Corps held services. This 
would also indicate that they did not join any local Christian 

There was. and is. no special burying place for Jews in 
Laramie and this demonstrates the difficulties Jews faced when 
maintaining their religious rituals. 

bi Interview. Jean Hager. 

,0 Mark Elliott and Marie Still. Lest We Forget Remembrances 
of Cheyenne's Jews. (Cheyenne: Frontier. 1990). 35. 

'° Hannah is buried opposite Simon and Otto Gramm lies beside 
her. Hilda is buried beside her husband. H. R. Roach, and Mrs. 
Colt. Jean Durlacher Tebbitt and her husband and daughter. 
Bobbett Tibbett MeCormack. also rest here. 

62 Laramie Republican. Dec. 6. 1905. 

Ibid. The Roaches lived in the Durlacher home until 1940 
when they built the Art-Deco style home, at 1420 East Grand 
Avenue. This house and contents were willed to the Albany 
County Historical Society, and the house is now occupied by the 
Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity . 

64 Laramie Republican, July 19. 1893. 

s? One account lists Pottsville. Pennsylvania as his home town 
and another states that he had moved to Danville (Denville. 
Danesville'?) and enlisted in the Union Armv from there. 

Amy M. Lawrence is a native of the Laramie Val- 
ley. She received a B. A. in journalism in 1942 and 
M. A. in American Studies in 1995. She is the trea- 
surer of the Albany County Historical Society, a 
member of the Wyoming Association of Professional 
Historians, and serves on the board of the Nici Self 
Museum in Centennial. 




A Biography of Agnes Wright Spring 

By Fran Springer 

American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming 

For Agnes Wright Spring those people and their 
memories provided the material for a prolific career in 
western history writing. Born in Delta, Colorado, Janu- 
ary 5, 1894, Mrs. Spring knew many of those people 
herself, lived in their time, or knew people whose memo- 
ries of them were fresh. The family move to a ranch 23 
miles west of Laramie when she was seven gave her 
ample opportunity to meet and observe people of all kinds 
who were actively involved in the settling of the West. 1 
The ranch itself was representative of many estab- 


lished in the area before the rum of the century. The origi- 
nal owner acquired his 640 acres of prairie through the 
Desert Land Act in 1879. A later owner, who built the 
one-story ten-room ranch house in 1 884, came from En- 
gland to invest in a large cattle ranch and in gold and 
silver mines. Mrs. Spring described it as a "wonderful 
home" which "stood near the bank of the Little Laramie 

'Olga Curtis, "The Beloved Historian," Denver Post Empire 
Magazine, October 21, 1979, 46, 49. 

which was bordered by willows, alders, wild roses, cur- 
rants, and cottonwoods." She remembered its "massive 
dark logs contrasted with colorful white chinking." 2 

During the years Mrs. Spring and her sisters Lucile, 
Rachel, and Alice were growing up on the ranch their 
father, Gordon Wright, ran a stage line and freighting 
business between Laramie and the Keystone and New 
Rambler mines in the Centennial area. As the trip from 
Laramie over plains devoid of houses, trees, fences, poles, 
or rails took six hours on a two-rut dirt road, the Wright 
Ranch accommodated overnight guests and the journey 
to the mines was completed the next day. Mrs. Wright 
also kept a post office named Filmore at the roll-top desk 
in the ranch dining room to serve the miners and resi- 
dents of the Centennial Valley.' 

The Wrights substituted for family to "miners, pros- 
pectors, surveyors, financiers, geologists, teachers, fish- 
ermen, and hunters-men and women of all occupations." 
Conversations at dinner and in the evenings ranged from 
talk of ranching and mining to the not-too-popular For- 
est Service, Gifford Pinchot, and grazing fees-and on to 
socialism. Knowing people such as Nathaniel (Nate) K. 
Boswell, one of the most respected lawmen in the terri- 
tory, as "Grandpa," remembering local outlaw Tom 
Horn's hanging in Cheyenne, as well as having contact 
with all manner of travelers, left an indelible impression 
on Mrs. Spring's young mind and provided anecdotal 
material for future writing. 4 

Her first story, "Benton' 5 Bear," written at age 1 1, 
won first prize at the county fair. The next year an at- 
tempt to write about travel in Wyoming (without benefit 
of having traveled) taught the youngster a lesson she 
never forgot-do not write about something you do not 
know. One hundred percent accuracy was her creed there- 

Changes came fast to the valley after the turn of the 
century. Mrs. Spring remembered when the Rambler 
Telephone Company put its first line out from Laramie 
in 1904. The ranch was the only place in the vicinity 
with a line. On New Year's Eve central left the switch- 
board open and folks gathered at the ranch to listen to 
the celebrating in Laramie! The Laramie Hahns Peak 
and Pacific Railroad continued its rail line to Centennial 
in 1907. Mrs. Wnght and the girls were amazed when 
their ride on the first train arrived at their crossing (also 
called Filmore) 17 miles from Laramie in only an hour 
and a half. Mr. Wright's Concord stage coach (now re- 
tired at the Wyoming Pioneer Museum in Douglas) made 
trips to the Snowy Range for family outings, tourists, 
and surveyors as the railroad took over the freight and 
passengers from Laramie. In 19 1 2 he built a second story 
on the house and became a dude rancher. The train re- 

Winter 1996 
ceived the mail contract and the post office was moved 
to Centennial. Many ranchers turned to farming with 
the promotion of irrigation along the east side of the 
mountains. It was a time of new conveniences and new 

Mrs. Spring was sent to school in Laramie when 
she was 13. Her father's family had settled there in 1884, 
and she stayed in town with her grandmother and two 
aunts. After a little coaching in arithmetic from her 
teacher aunts, she was accepted to the third grade and 
went on to graduate in 1 9 1 at age 1 6. Trips to the ranch 
on vacations in winter tested one's endurance, as she 
remembered, but in the spring the new plant growth and 
animal life made the trip a pleasant adventure-especially 
since her dad would rest the horses periodically and the 
girls could get out to explore the prairie. h 

During the three years she attended the University 
of Wyoming, membership in the Glee and Mandolin 
clubs finally furnished the opportunity to travel in Wyo- 
ming as the groups made concert tours. As the first 
woman editor of the Wyoming Student (now Branding 
Iron) she changed it from a monthly to a weekly publi- 
cation. Her work as library assistant under Dr. Grace 
Raymond Hebard undoubtedly influenced her life con- 
siderably. Dr. Hebard had gained respect as a champion 
of the pioneer and of western history and was busily 
assembling an archival collection for the university. Her 
undergraduate degree in civil engineering perhaps ex- 
plains why Mrs. Spring took a topography class-only to 
be embarrassed when the stays in her corset sent the 
compass reeling! Mrs. Spring credited Dr. Hebard with 
starting her history writing career with the suggestion 
she enter a Daughters of the American Revolution writ- 
ing contest. She won the $50 prize for an essay justify- 
ing South Pass as the best place in Wyoming for a monu- 
ment. Subsequently, she entered several contests and 
helped with school expenses from the proceeds. Mrs. 
Spring also, developed an interest in golf through Dr. 
Hebard, who had won the women's state golf champi- 
onship in 1900. Mrs. Spring herself later became Wyo- 
ming champion and won two championships in Fort 
Collins. Dr. Hebard gave her clubs to Mrs. Spring, who 
in turn donated them to a volunteer teaching children 
how to play in Denver's City Park when she felt she 

? Albany County Tract Index Book. County Clerk's Office. 

Laramie. Wyoming; Agnes Wright Spring. "Stage Stop on the 

Little Laramie." Persimmon Hill (4) 5, 6. 

1 Spring. "Stage Stop." 7, 8, 9, 14. 

4 Teresa Jordan. "Interview with a Romance Writer." In Wyoming. 

March- April 1978, 18. 19 

s Spring. "Stage Stop," 8, 1 7; Spring. "The West." 1 8. 

6 Spring. "The West." 1 8; Agnes Wnght Spring, Undated letter to 

Mr. Thorp, Hebard Collection, American Heritage Center. UW. 


Wyoming History Journal 

would no longer play. In a letter to a friend following a 
golf game in Joliet. Illinois, she declared the fairways 
were "like green velvet after digging balls out of gopher 
holes on the prairie sod course in Cheyenne." 7 

Mrs. Spring's initiation into Pi Beta Phi while a stu- 
dent started a long and productive association with the 
sorority. She was a national officer and in 1921 became 
editor of their national magazine. The Arrow. During her 
seven years as editor she wrote a history of Pi Beta Phi 
and managed their public relations. In 1923 the sorority 
voted to make a national Mother's pin and Mrs. Spring 
presented the first one to her mother for her birthday. 
The Gatlinsburg, Tennessee, Pi Beta Phi settlement 
school seemed doomed to failure when Mrs. Spring took 
over its direction. During her year there "she helped 
change the area from 'one of the darkest education spots 
in the United States at that time' to what is now an 80- 
acre developed center." She was amused by the com- 
ment from Tennessee natives when introduced to them- 
"I heerd tell of folks from Wyoming, but I never seed 
one before." 8 

Upon graduation from the University of Wyoming 
at age 19 in 1913, Spring took a position as assistant 
state librarian in the Supreme Court Library in Chey- 
enne. Her association with the builders of the West broad- 
ened as she assisted lawyer and legislator patrons. Her 
desire to learn more about writing brought the sugges- 
tion from a Cheyenne newspaper owner that she go to 
Columbia School of Journalism for a year. Armed with 
a Pi Beta Phi $500 scholarship, additional help of $500 
from Governor Joseph Carey, and $100 from an "un- 
known" woman she believed was Dr. Hebard, the coun- 
try girl arrived in New York City in 1916. She marveled 
at how the people dashed for the subways when another 
would be along in a minute or so! The war broke out 
while Mrs. Spring was in New York and many classes 
were suspended, so she took war reporting assignments 
throughout the city-to the surprise of those who expected 
a woman to be afraid. 1 ' 

An interest in women's suffrage surfaced during Mrs. 
Spring's stay in New York. A fellow student asked for 
her assistance in a door-to-door solicitation for names 
of women who wanted to vote. Mrs. Spring was glad for 
the money-making opportunity and also pleased to help 
with the cause. Her friend was a niece to Carrie Chapman 
Catt, and the girl from the equality state was thrilled to 
be invited to spend a weekend visiting this well-known 
suffragette. The refusal of the dean of the Columbia Law 
School to let her enroll in a constitutional law class be- 
cause she was a woman, followed by the offer of $10 
less than a male classmate had been offered for a news- 
paper writing job "because you're a girl," undoubtedly 


added impetus for her to indulge in a bit of a feminist 
attitude throughout life. She was later known to indicate 
great pride at having made it in a man's world.'" 

Mrs. Spring returned as assistant in the Supreme 
Court Library and, after helping the state librarian elope 
to Nebraska in a blizzard, took her position. This in- 
cluded the responsibilities of state historian and state 
superintendent of weights and measures-all for the fine 
sum of $1,200 a year! She also served as women's edi- 
tor and feature writer for the Wyoming Stockman-Farmer, 
a job she continued for 27 years." 

Her accomplishments while working in Wyoming 
are still valued. She compiled the Library Laws of Wyo- 
ming and wrote a seventy-year history of the Wyoming 
Stock Growers Association. At the urging of her friend, 
Governor Carey, she wrote her first book, Caspar Collins. 
The governor arranged for her to talk to John Friend, the 
man who had last talked to Collins before his death, and 
to meet the Collins family. The popularity of the book 
demanded a second printing 42 years after its first pub- 
lication in 1927. I2 

Those years in Cheyenne provided other occasions 
to meet people important to the history of the time. She 
knew the owner of a Cheyenne book and curio shop, 
Ernest A. Logan, who had been with the military unit 
that delivered 100 horses to General Nelson A. Miles 
when he was pursuing Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce. 
Spring delighted in a story of her acquaintance with 
General George Sliney. Knowing of his claim that he 
would kiss all the girls good-bye when he resigned as 
adjutant general of Wyoming, she met him on that day 
wearing a dog muzzle! Sliney was replaced by a hand- 
some young fellow who had aspired to the stage, given 
up, and caught a train west. Mrs. Spring wrote an article 
for Sunset Magazine about his ability to communicate 
with the Indians in sign language. 

7 Spnng, Letter to Thorp. Hebard Collection. UW: Curtis. "Beloved 
Historian," 46; Jordan, "Interview." 19; Evadene Swanson, "Daugh- 
ter of the Old West Radiates Joy of Life," Fort Collins Re\'iew, Hebard 
Collection; Agnes Wright Spring, Letter to Bill, Bio-file Colorado 
Historical Society. 

"Elinor Bluemel, One Hundred Years of Colorado Women, 1 973, 93, 
Bio-file Colorado Historical Society; "Mrs. Gordon L. Wright-Birth- 
day." Laramie Republican. February 8. 1923. Hebard Collection; 
Marlene Leininger, "Longmonter to Appear on TV," Daily 
Times-Call, February 4, 1970. Bio-file Denver Public Library. 
"Spring, 'The West," 19, 22; Jordan, "Interview." 19; Leininger, 

l0 Agnes Wright Spring, "but You're a Girl," The Arrow of Pi Beta 
Phi. pp. 43, 44, Hebard Collection; Gene Gressley, University of 
Wyoming, Interview March 5, 1980. 

"Spring, "The West," 23, 24; Spring, "But You're," 44; Curtis, "Be- 
loved Historian," 47. 

'-'Bluemel. One Hundred Years. 93; Spring, "But You're," 44; Curtis, 
"Beloved Historian," 47. 

Hollywood needed someone to assemble Indians for 
the motion picture Covered Wagon, saw the article, and 
thereby started Tim McCoy's movie career. Consider- 
ing Cheyenne a wild town for a young single girl, Mrs. 
Spring carried a pistol at night until the evening she was 
so excited at seeing General John J. Pershing she shot a 
hole through her skirt!" 

In 1921 Agnes Wright married a graduate of the 
Colorado School of Mines, ArcherT. Spring, and moved 
to Colorado. As the couple traveled throughout Wyo- 
ming and the Wyoming/Colorado border country for his 
job as an oil geologist, Mrs. Spring took notes and con- 
tinued to meet the old-timers she had learned to love so 
well. She even had the good fortune to acquire an origi- 
nal diary written on the Oregon Trail in 1851 from a 
Lander motel owner. Her travels enabled her to meet a 
man who knew Butch Cassidy, a grandson of the notori- 
ous outlaw Teton Jackson, a friend of Baby Doe Tabor, 
and a neighbor of Ella "Cattle Kate" Watson and Jim 
Averill, who were hanged in 1889. 14 

The Springs tried their luck with a cherry orchard in 
Fort Collins, but drought and the Depression put them 
out of business, and they returned to Wyoming in 1 930. 
Mrs. Spring worked as chief writer and editor of the 
Wyoming Guidebook compiled by the Federal Writer's 
Program of the Work Projects Administration ( WPA). 
This is believed by some to be her finest work and is still 
"considered the definitive guide to Wyoming." Plans to 
travel across Wyoming by "car, rail, or horseback" to 
collect historical material of all kinds which could be 
used for state museum exhibits, a novel, or by research- 
ers were endorsed by citizens and officials at the state 
historical landmarks commission. Mrs. Spring gathered 
"every bit of data ... of importance from an historical 
standpoint" and tried "especially to reach those who have 
never before recorded accounts of their experiences and 
knowledge of Wyoming." She maintained her member- 
ship in the Wyoming Pioneer Association all her life and, 
although the Springs moved from Wyoming for the last 
time when World War II started, she retained a special 
fondness for the "land of my first pioneers-to the Old 
West that I knew- 

'If you've breathed the air of her hills and plains 
If you've watched her peaks in the gloaming 
If you've felt her pride when her horsemen ride 
You will join in my toast to- WYOMING!' 15 

Mr. Spring took a job in an ammunition factory in 
Denver, and Mrs. Spring worked part-time as special 
research assistant in the Western History Department of 
the Denver Public Library and wrote "romantic pulp sto- 

Winter 1996 
ries; at a cent a word" for Ranch Romances. A $64,500 
Rockefeller Grant to study the western range cattle in- 
dustry in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana between 
1850 and 1900 kept her busy as assistant director for 
five years. She was active in the Denver Woman's Press 
Club and the Colorado Author's League which awarded 
her the annual Top Hand Award in the non-technical class 
for "Home on the Range Has Wheels" published in the 
American Cattle Producer in 1948. Robert Perkin in- 
cluded A Bloomer Girl on Pike 's Peak, which she edited 
for the library in 1948, on his list of 100 best books on 
Colorado, and the University of Wyoming gave her a 
grant to write Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage and Ex- 
press Routes for its American Trails Series in 1949." 1 

Meeting a challenge claiming a woman her age could 
not get a full-time job, the Springs went to Sacramento. 
California, in 1950 where Mrs. Spring became public 
relations director and assistant in the fiction department 
of the city library. California people clamored for books 
by western authors, and Mrs. Spring noted that folks 
there had much the same reading tastes as folks back 
home. She particularly derived satisfaction from find- 
ing the right book for the right person. Before a year 
passed a call from the Colorado Historical Society ask- 
ing her to fill in for the state historian while he was on 
leave for a year brought the couple back to Denver. 17 

Mrs. Spring wasted no time gaining a reputation for 
ambition, energy, integrity, and historical expertise. Dr. 
James Grafton Rogers, president of the historical soci- 
ety and himself a respected historian, praised her efforts 
not only in routine and reference work, but for inaugu- 
rating an active public relations program. Mrs. Spring 
believed the people of Colorado should be aware of the 
historical treasures available for their use and worked 
hard to acquaint them with the society's accomplish- 
ments. She prepared regular news releases for 75 news- 
papers in the state, radio spots for Denver stations, maga- 

11 Spring, "The West." 23, 24; Spring. "Bui You're." 44; Curtis. "Be- 
loved Historian," 47. 
14 Spring, "The West." 23. 

"Spring. "The West." 23; Curtis. "Beloved Historian." 47. 44. "Wyo- 
ming History to Be Basis of Agnes Wright Spring Book." Wyoming 
State Tribune-Cheyenne State Leader, January 21. 1435. Hebard 
Collection; "Distinguished Alumni Award Goes to Agnes Wright 
Spring," The Citizen, Denver. November 1 961 . 
'"Curtis. "Beloved Historian." 49; "Editorial Notes," Colorado Maga- 
zine, March 1944, 79; Bluemel, One Hundred Years. 94; "Agnes 
Wright Spring-An Authority on the West Putting a Feature Story 
Together," Colorado Editor. March 1948. 6; Marjorie Barrett. "Cow 
Country Legacies' Charming," Rocky Mountain News, October 2, 

'"Curtis, "Beloved Historian." 49; "New State Librarian Scores Lu- 
rid Books." Denver Post. November 23, 1950; Verla Crawford, "Li- 
brary Aide Tells of Her Writings." Bio-file Denver Public Library. 


Wyoming History Journal 

zine articles, and a brief historical sketch of Colorado 

for general distribution. 18 

Upon the return of the state historian, Mrs. Spring 
was appointed executive assistant to Dr. Rogers and as- 
sistant secretary of the board of directors. She continued 
her public relations work with speaking engagements at 
organizations such as the D.A.R., churches, chambers 
of commerce, Westerner corrals, and schools. Her charm- 
ing personality endeared her to everyone, including the 
legislators she encouraged to take an interest in the his- 
tory of their state. In her determination to unearth items 
of historical import, she even read the obituaries and 
hurried to solicit donations of papers and mementos from 
family members of the deceased. She worked diligently 
to catalogue special exhibits, sorting and evaluating 
manuscripts and photographs to place them in appropri- 
ate files and to use for provocative displays at the mu- 
seum. 1 '' 

Mrs. Spring's appointment as Colorado state histo- 
rian in 1954 gave her the distinction of being the first 
(and still only) person to be state historian for two states. 
As industrious as ever, she compared her office to Grand 
Central Station. She never refused to see a visitor. After 
helping a professor from Columbia University with some 
research, she received an autographed copy of the Spirit 
of St. Louis— he had been researching for Charles 
Lindbergh. One day a pleasant lady with familiar-look- 
ing bangs came to make arrangements to donate some 
of her mother's possessions to the museum. Mrs. Spring 
considered that meeting with Mamie Eisenhower her 
most thrilling experience while she was state historian. 
Knowledge other expertise in pioneer history circulated 
afar. Ralph Edwards asked her assistance in producing a 
This is Your Life program at the Coliseum at the celebra- 
tion of Denver's centennial. He wanted "someone earthy. 
Not someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth." 
Mrs. Spring suggested a female jack-whacker who ran a 
"pack outfit of burros carrying dynamite, lumber and 
supplies up perilous trails to the mines over in the San 
Juans." She thought it a great joke that Ralph Edwards' 
gifts to the woman after the performance were "a string 
of pearls, a mink stole, and a Ford station wagon!" She 
was honored in 1 958 by being included in a group of six 
to select "the greatest and worthiest" American cowboys 
for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. 2 " 

Through the years Mrs. Spring displayed her gener- 
osity and kindness in many ways. She donated such items 
as Isaac N. Bard's diary of his trip from Iowa to Colo- 
rado in 1 869 and a photostat of an affidavit filed as proof 
of "Calamity Jane's" birth to the Colorado Historical 
Society. When she noticed the tie her young assistant 
(who was working to put his wife through college) wore 


was nearly threadbare she gave him a new one. She kept 
a notebook handy with reminders of subjects her friends 
had particular interest in and, whenever she came across 
a pertinent bit of material, she would make a note or cut 
a clipping to send along to them. ;i 

The work in Colorado did not prevent Mrs. Spring 
from association with Wyoming; in fact, she was elected 
first president of the newly formed University of Wyo- 
ming Library Association in 1952. She also received the 
Distinguished Alumna Award "for long and devoted ser- 
vice to the University, tremendous success in historical 
and research writing and participation in many worth- 
while civic affairs"-the first woman to be so honored-at 
Homecoming in 1961. 22 

Writing occupied a substantial place in her life while 
she was busy at the historical society. She wrote a serial 
called "Arctic Gold" for Alaska Sportsman, edited Pio- 
neer Years in the Black Hills, and wrote Horse Wrangler 
in cooperation with Floyd C. Bard. 21 

A typical month for Mrs. Spring at the society went 
something like this: attendance at a museum sponsored 
party, two luncheons, calling on a lady in eastern Colo- 
rado, checking the contents of an old downtown house, 
judging a literary contest, supplying 15 individuals with 
requested data, assigning book reviews, receiving and 
cataloguing gifts, selecting manuscripts for two publi- 
cations, visiting with 1 1 drop-ins, checking labels for a 
museum exhibit, and editing the quarterly Colorado 
Magazine. She also maintained active membership in 
the Denver Westerners, Western Writers of America, 
American State and Local Historical Association, the 
Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the West- 
ern History Association, of which she became an honor- 
ary life member in 1970. No wonder one reporter called 
her a "little lady who is a bundle of driving energy and 

18 "Acting Historian Puts Pep into Step of Colorado Museum." Rocky 
Mountain News, July 8, 1951, Hebard Collection; "Report of the 
President." Colorado Magazine, January 1 95 1 . 3. 

19 "Report of the President," Colorado Magazine. January 1 952, 1 ; 
Maxine Benson. Colorado Historical Society, interview. March 1 1, 
1980; Gressley interview; "Acting Historian," Hebard Collection; 
Adeline Pope McConnell. "Every Day is a Treasure," Denver Post 
Empire Magazine, December 1, 1957. 

: "Curtis. "Beloved Historian." 49; Spring. "The West." 24; McConnell, 
"Every Day"; "Group to Select Hall of Fame Cowboys," Western 
Livestock. December 1958, 25. 

;l Gressley interview; "Gifts to Society." Colorado Magazine. Au- 
gust 1 95 1 , 237; "Gifts to Society," Colorado Magazine, August 1 957. 
152; "Editorial Notes." Colorado Magazine. January 1 943, 39 
"Library Association of the University of Wyoming, Minutes of First 
Meeting, Hebard Collection; Dick Brown. Letter to Agnes Wright 
Spring, September 8, 1 96 1 , Bio-file Colorado Historical Society. 
2, "Story of the Black Hills Pioneering Years, Edited by Agnes Wright 
Spring," The Citizen, Denver, Colorado. June 1957; "Distinguished 
Alumni Award." 

encyclopedia of information about Colorado yesterdays." 
Another said she "played fairy godmother to most of the 
professional historians in the Rocky Mountain area!" 24 

Perhaps the finest tribute to her work came in the 
Annual Report to the president of the Colorado 
Historical Society in January of 197 1 : 

Keystone of the staff is the state historian, Mrs. Agnes 
Wright Spring. Colorado-born and Wyoming-bred, 
comes first to the minds of scholars, writers, research- 
ers and historians in all parts of the country when 
they think of Colorado history. Hollywood telephones 
her for authentication of a costume. New York wires 
a query about a lost gold mine. Chicago wants to 
know the historical background of Fraser, Colorado, 
where all the weather comes from. Famous writers 
and struggling beginners seek her help-and the one 
gets it as fully and as graciously as the other. She 
responds to innumerable requests for advice from 
state, local, and national offices and departments, 
from publishers, colleges, and universities, other li- 
braries, and institutions. A Western parade last year 
wouldn"t move down the street in Denver until Mrs. 
Spring had O.K. 'd the riders' costumes as authentic 
of the period. She is at home with visiting cowhands 
from Big Horn, and with touring editors from Tur- 
key. How she finds time to do the other things she 
does, I do not know. In three years she has organized 
sixteen chapters of Junior Historians. She edits a 
magazine for them, in addition to the Society's quar- 
terly. ... she collects historical material, she gives 
public addresses, she directed the making of our new 
motion picture, and supervises the distribution of 
twenty-two historical films, which this past year were 
seen by forty thousand school pupils and group mem- 
bers. She adds further prestige to the Society by her 
own writings, which now total, I believe, fourteen 
books and how many book reviews, reports, speeches, 
leaflets, bibliographies, and scholarly articles. I doubt 
even she knows. 

The board of directors of the Colorado Historical 
Society elected to continue her association with the so- 
ciety as state historian emeritus when she retired from 
active work in 1 963. 2S 

Retirement did not slow her down. She traveled and 
wrote, and even appeared on television. ABC's 1970 
documentary film. The Last of the Westerners, included 
her chapter, "Stagecoach Stop," from the John Myers 
book. The Westerners. Weather forced the filming to 
Arizona, and Mrs. Spring went on location. The amount 
of time, money, and technology invested in one 30- 
minute program fascinated her. That experience re- 
minded her how fortunate she was to have known the 
pioneers personally-viewers were captivated with their 

Winter 1996 
glimpse of the Old West and only wished it had been a 
longer program. :h 

At a reception in Oklahoma City on April 17, 1973, 
at age 79, she was presented the Saddleman Trophy for 
"outstanding contribution to Western heritage as an his- 
torian" from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and 
Western Heritage Center. President of the board of trust- 
ees Joel McCrea escorted her to the stage to receive the 
award from Walter Brennan. 

Her reaction to the proceedings: "He kissed me, and 
I reared back like a colt! Maybe you get kissed by strang- 
ers in Hollywood, but not in my West!" : 

Cow Country Legacies, published when Mrs. Spring 
was 83, manifests the zest for living and working and 
dedication to her "Old West" she maintained. This de- 
lightful little book, filled with people and incidents which 
would have been forever lost to the past, vividly depicts 
the spirit of those times for those of us who can only 
imagine them with the aid of someone who has been 
there. :s 

Mrs. Spring died on March 20, 1 988. Although blind 
during her last two years, she continued writing a novel, 
editing the diary of an Alaska pioneer, and maintaining 
contact with friends and fellow researchers via telephone 
calls and dictation to nurses aides. Her old friend. Gene 
Gressley, perhaps said it best in his tribute to her in the 
foreword of her book. Near the Greats: "I discovered 
Agnes Wright Spring, as have all others, an amazingly 
knowledgeable historian, an intensely warm person, and 
above all else a totally selfless individual." :g 

4 Bluemel, One Hundred, 94; Curtis. "Beloved Historian." 46; 
Heyward Siddons, "Colorado History is Her Business." Rocky Moun- 
tain News, May 14. 1%I. 27A; "Acting Historian." 
:v 'Report of the President," Colorado Magazine. January 1961. 3; 
"Notes and Correspondence," Colorado Magazine. January 1964, 

26 Spring, "The West." 22. 
"Curtis. "Beloved Historian." 49, 
:K Barrett. Cow Country Legacies. 

: "Gressley, personal correspondence; Spring. Near the Great, Fore- 

Author Fran Springer holds an undergraduate de- 
gree in history with a specialization in Public His- 
tory from the University of Wyoming. Presently em- 
ployed in the College of Agriculture, University of 
Wyoming, she serves as secretary of the Albany 
County Chapter, Wyoming State Historical Society. 


Book Revi 

e views 

•Some Signhcant Recent Books in Western and Wyoming History 

The Making of Western Radicalism: 
Denver's Organized Workers, 1878- 

By David Brundage.Urbana: University of Illinois 
Press, 1994. xii and 207 pages. Notes, index. Cloth, 

David Brundage, Associate Profesor of Community 
Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has 
made an important contribution to the Working Class in 
American History series. Brundage's well-crafted com- 
munity study of Denver workers in the years 1878-1 905 
is based on the close reading of a wide variety of sources 
and provides a thoughtful analysis of the nineteenth cen- 
tury foundations of twentieth century labor radicalism. 

Brundage's thesis challenges the standard notion that 
the Industrial Workers of the World — perhaps the quint- 
essential western labor radical organization — repre- 
sented a dramatic new development on the labor scene. 
In Brundage's view, the IWW was the "logical culmina- 
tion of late nineteenth century labor history" rather than 
a "sharp break with the past" (p. 2). At the same time, 
Brundage downplayed the forces historians usually cite 
as central to the IWW's formation — frontier conditions 
and the role of corporate capitalism in the mining West. 

According to Brundage, four elements of twentieth 
century labor radicalism had roots in the experiences of 
nineteenth century workers and their organizations — 
syndicalism; internationalism and racial egalitarianism; 


commitment to organizing the unskilled; and movement 
culture. Brundage deftly describes early evidences of all 

His analysis of the Knights of Labor in Denver is both 
thought-provoking and revisionist. The Knights' ideas of 
morality contributed to their alliance with prohibition 
supporters in an attempt to diminish the saloon's influ- 
ence in Denver. Brundage's descriptions of Knights' ef- 
forts to foster a "movement culture" through the sponsor- 
ship of social activities, family excursions, and reading 
rooms reveals the texture of workers' lives. After 1886 — 
in contrast to the situation in other geographic locations — 
Denver Knights became "more clearly working-class in 
outlook" (p. 85). 

Brundage found elements of later internationalism in 
the relationship between workers and Denver's branch of 
the American Land League. During the 1890s, various 
labor factions joined to combat the anti-Irish, anti-Catho- 
lic American Protective Association. In yet another pre- 
cursor of IWW internationalism and racial egalitarian- 
ism, the American Labor Union urged toleration for Asian 
immigrants in the early twentieth century. 

Syndicalism was central to twentieth century labor 
radicalism, and Brundage traced its origins in Denver to 
trade union activity between 1887-1892 when he found 
that one third of strikes focused on work rules and control 
issues. Nineteenth-century socialists provided the ideo- 
logical underpinnings of twentieth-century syndicalism. 

The panic of 1 893 highlighted the limitations of craft 
unions and spurred unskilled workers to ally with the 

Peoples' Party. Few historians have noted this relation- 
ship, which is particularly significant in the West where 
support for free silver often served as the beginning of a 
more wide ranging alliance between Populists and work- 
ers. Populist Governor Davis Waite's 1894 intervention 
to protect miners at Cripple Creek enhanced the Popu- 
list/worker connection that according to Brundage, in- 
spired the "ideology of the unskilled workers' move- 
ment" (p. 128). 

Brnndage's attention to women and minorities is 
welcome. When he discussed the role of the Land League 
in criticizing the subservient position of Irish American 
women; the American Labor Union and the Chinese; 
the position of women in the Knights of Labor; various 
ethnic organizations in Denver; and African American 
and Chicano laborers in several Denver workplaces, 
Brundage made a significant contribution. 

David Brundage argued convincingly that "Denver's 
history in the closing decades of the nineteenth century 
provides important keys to an understanding of the 
IWW's ideology" (p. 163). While he may have slighted 
the importance of mining's special characteristics in 
shaping the Western Federation of Miners and later the 
IWW, this book offers insights into workers' culture, the 
relationship of ideology to radicalism, and the continu- 
ity of workers' experiences over time that are valuable. 

Katherine Aitken 
University of Idaho 

Fire in the Hole: The Untold Story of 
Hardrock Miners. 

By Jerry Dolph. Pullman: Washington State University 
Press, 1994. 174 pages. Cloth, $40.00. Paper, $28.00. 

Jerry Dolph spent more than a decade as a hardrock 
miner, working underground in northern Idaho, western 
Nevada, Lead, South Dakota, and southern Arizona. This 
is a highly personal story (there are no scholarly trap- 
pings like footnotes, index or bibliography ) that depicts 
the struggle of a diminishing group of men and a few 
women searching for gold, silver, copper and uranium 
across the Mountain West. 

After brief stints as a police officer, construction 
worker, and lumber mill hand, Dolph entered a mining 
training program in Butte, Montana. Shortly thereafter 
he was hired by the Hecla Mining Company in northern 
Idaho's Silver Valley which became his permanent home. 

Winter 199b 
This locale produced more than one half of the nation's 
silver at its peak. The author has great respect for his 
fellow workers, admiring both their physical brawn and 
their strength of will. He vividly describes the harsh con- 
ditions thousands of feet below ground as workers dealt 
with often blinding dust, backbreaking physical labor. 
"Mr. Air Blast," and the dangers of working with dyna- 
mite and a powerful blasting agent called "PrelL'To bring 
the possibility of death close to home, the author occa- 
sionally found an errant stick of dynamite with blasting 
cap encased in rock he was either hammering or drill- 

Dolph describes his career as a "legal tramp," mov- 
ing from one location to another, sometimes after a few 
days or months, rarely more than a two years on the job. 
He was not just satisfying a sense of wanderlust (although 
there were several occasions when he moved on at the 
slightest provocation or unacceptable working condi- 
tion), but often sought temporary employment triggered 
by mine shutdown associated with a labor union strike. 
The author frankly admitted he did not think he would 
live long enough to retire if he remained a miner. Al- 
ways on the precipice of financial survival, with a very 
tolerant and understanding wife and son, he simply 
"could not afford to wait out a strike." At each mine Dolph 
was openly concerned about looking like a new hire or 
"greenhorn" and being assigned the menial tasks asso- 
ciated with low seniority. The issue of mine safety was 
emphasized since each new employer required a physi- 
cal examination and periodic safety training sessions. 

The publisher enhanced the narrative with an excel- 
lent set of black-and-white photographs of mine loca- 
tions, surface and underground machinery, mining tech- 
niques and equipment operation. Some are historical but 
most are associated with Dolph's employment. The au- 
thor does an excellent job of briefly explaining techni- 
cal terms and miner jargon for the lay reader. He por- 
trays miners having a good time joking and teasing with 
each other but not in the hazardous underground envi- 
ronment. He is candid about individuals he admired and 
those he disliked, although the latter are often identified 
with a pseudonym. While the author tells an interesting 
story, he has filled the text with excruciating detail that 
is often a distraction. How many times does he have to 
describe the "dry house" where miners changed into their 
"differs" or underground clothing? There is absolutely 
no conclusion. The narrative simply ends with Dolph 
and his partner trying to clear out a clogged chute in 
Idaho's Lucky Friday Mine. At least the author was sit- 
ting in a boatswain chair; readers are simply left hang- 
ing! Overall, however, this highly personal account pro- 


Wyoming History Journal 

virlps a HptailfH hut rparlahlp r 

Wyoming History Journal 

vides a detailed but readable portrayal of contemporary 
hardrock mining. 

David A. Walker 
University of Northern Iowa 
Cedar Falls 

The Frontier in American Culture: Essays 
by Richard White and Patricia Nelson 

Edited by James R. Grossman. Berkeley: University of 
California Press, 1994. xivand 1 16 pages. Illustrations, 
notes, bibliography. Cloth, $30. Paper, $15. 

This is a catalogue prepared for an exhibition at the 
Newberry Library in Chicago from August 1994 to Janu- 
ary 1995. Conceived originally as a commemoration of 
Frederick Jackson Turner's 1893 address on "The Sig- 
nificance of the Frontier in American History," the ex- 
hibit also incorporated recent scholarship that goes well 
beyond Turner's thesis and so focuses more broadly on 
the problem of "the frontier in American culture" in a 
manner calculated to educate and stimulate. The current 
catalogue contains thirty-four black-and-white and color 
images from the exhibition. 

The first of the two essays, "Frederick Jackson 
Turner and Buffalo Bill," is written by Richard White, 
who developed the exhibit. White successfully estab- 
lishes a dialogue with the images as he draws upon subtle 
aspects of maps, posters, drawings, and books to sug- 
gest larger significance and as he uses the plates to illus- 
trate what his argument. The focus is initially deceptive 
since historians may reject Turner and they may dismiss 
Cody, but they seldom put them in the same sentence. 
Yet White is able to argue that, their limits notwithstand- 
ing, both have powerful legacies for us as we attempt to 
understand conceptions of the frontier in American cul- 
ture. Turner's message was that of a peaceful settlement 
of the West that followed a course of reversion to the 
primitive and then advancement, individually and col- 
lectively, through a progressive cultural and social 
growth. Where Turner neglected Native Americans by 
including them in the larger primitive environment of 
the frontier, Buffalo Bill propagated a vision of the West 
that literally put Indians at center stage. Although Cody 
reversed the roles of the Indians and settlers and made 
the white conquerors out to be innocent victims of In- 
dian aggression, he added an element of credibility to 
his exposition by mixing, as White expresses it, "perfor- 

mance and history," as he would leave the show to serve 
as an army scout against the Indians and as the Indians 
would join the show, Sitting Bull himself leading staged 
attacks on Custer and his men. 

Moreover, it was not just the mingling of history 
and theater that White observes, but a mingling of iden- 
tities. The icons take on a life of their own. In dress and 
cultural reference, Whites imitated Indians and Indians 
imitated Whites. In fact, as the author argues, carrying 
the analysis further, the next step "was the most compli- 
cated kind of mimesis. Indians were imitating imitations 
of themselves." This, perhaps the most intriguing part of 
the study, is most subtle and sensitive and is reminiscent 
of Winthrop Jordan's use of mimesis and projection in 
his classic study, White Over Black. The denouement of 
this cultural interaction and exchange and blending of 
imagery and referents is a story (that contains other sto- 
ries) of the West that existed independent of the actual 
history of the West, and the history itself, both with great 
complexity, but with vastly different messages. 

Patricia Nelson Limerick's essay, "The Adventures 
of the Frontier in the Twentieth Century," seems out of 
place in this study. Journalistic and breezy in tone and 
analysis, the essay seems clearly intended for a vastly 
different audience than that of either the exhibition or 
White's essay. Despite a distracting self-referential habit, 
Limerick moves lightly from her initial focus on the 
"Velcro frontier" and on Disneyland to the widespread 
misuse of the word "frontier," in popular culture. Con- 
ducting her research in newspaper headlines, she found 
that people use the words "frontier" and "pioneer" in 
ways not connected at all to historical meanings of the 
words, including even the name of an airline. She seems 
aware of the silliness of the word game, but her conclu- 
sion is serious: "a positive image of the frontier and the 
pioneer is now implanted in nearly everyone's mind." 
And, she finds, the concept of the frontier "works as a 
cultural glue" in holding American society together. 

Limerick may well be right in this but her own analy- 
sis is weak. These terms, as with many others, have 
meanings independent of what historians make of them; 
her analysis of popular culture consists of looking at 
presidential speeches and newspaper headlines — essen- 
tially a "trickle-down theory" of cultural analysis and 
dissemination that omits the people whom she professes 
to study; and the near universal consensus on the mean- 
ing of the frontier and the function of the concept as a 
cultural unifier curiously suggests the absence of divi- 
sions and complexity in modern society- -which, a cen- 
tury ago is unforgivable. Is modern society less com- 
plex than the frontier? 


It is not clear why Professor Limerick has chosen 
this tack for her analysis; clearly she is capable of so- 
phisticated historical inquiry of, as White puts it, "real 
past events and real people." Perhaps the key is to move 
beyond the lament of the use of the word and to engage 
in research on carefully defined conceptual problems by 
which we can understand our western or frontier or what- 
ever legacy the more closely. 

Michael Cassity 
University of Wyoming 

Old West/New West: Quo Vadis? 

Edited by Gene M. Gressley. Worland: High Plains Pub- 
lishing, 1994. Notes, index, viii + 199 pp. Cloth. 

This is a collection of essays, all of them in one way 
or another about frameworks for writing the history of 
the American West. The essayists are Carl Abbott, 
Patricia Limerick, Gerald Nash, Malcolm Rohrbough, 
Gerald Thompson and Donald Worster; Gene Gressley 
wrote the introduction. Most of the pieces have already 
been published in one form or another. The previous ap- 
pearances of Limerick's "The Privileges and Perils of 
the Western Public Intellectual" and Thompson's "The 
New Western History : A Critical Analysis" are acknowl- 
edged on the book's publication-data page; Nash's "The 
Global Context of the New Western Historian" is an ex- 
tension of his remarks in the Journal of the West in Janu- 
ary 1993; most of Worster's "Rediscovering the West: 
The Legacy of John Wesley Powell" is available in his 
An Unsettled Country; and a good deal of Abbott's "The 
American West and the Three Urban Revolutions" ap- 
pears in The Metropolitan Frontier. Much of the mate- 
rial, apparently, was waiting in the contributors' word 

Moreover, the authors and their editor seem to have 
relied on their spell checkers, rather than actually proof- 
reading the copy. "Expense" and "whey" are both words, 
and the spell checker won't question them, even where 
the author clearly means "expanse" and "why" (pp. 107, 
1 16). Nor will the spell checker help the author to spell 
Sam Peckinpah's name correctly (p. 15). The book could 
have done with more diligent editing, but Gressley has 
enough trouble with his own prose. What does "The 
New Left and the Right trumpet the fox and the hedgerow 
of negativism...," on page 25, mean? Is it a reference to 
Isaiah Berlin's The Hedgehog and the Fox? Perhaps. 
"Reality soon conquered injustice" (p. 4). Not really. 
Subjects fail to agree with their predicates (pp. 7, 19); 

Winter 1496 
catachresis occurs sporadically (e.g., "exculpate" for 
"expiate," p. 9). 

Another of the book's drawbacks is the occasional 
incivility some of the contributors display towards some 
of the others. One wonders, at times, if they all knew 
that they were about to get between the covers together. 
Thompson refers to Limerick as "queen of the New 
Western historians" (p. 53); Worster is "our Kansas pro- 
fessor" (p. 65). And to equate the study of racist atti- 
tudes with their espousal, as Gerald Nash does, seems 
disingenuous, to use no worse word. 

Is there any good news about this book? Limerick 
urges historians to acknowledge their own oversights, 
forthrightly and graciously. Such modesty will, she be- 
lieves, "invigorate both debates among scholars and pub- 
lic participation in those debates" (p. 44). She also has 
good stories to tell about her experiences with reporters, 
which will resonate with any readers who have ever read 
a newspaper account of an event they have witnessed, or 
of a subject about which they know something. 

Elsewhere in the book, Carl Abbott urges a "city- 
centered approach" because urban growth "introduced 
'history' into the West in the form of continuous societal 
change" (p. 89). Malcolm Rohrbough suggests that two 
of the unifying themes in Western history are exploita- 
tion of natural resources and defiance of authority, al- 
though, as far as the latter goes, "the West was not so 
much antigovemment in public deed as in public rheto- 
ric"^. 132). Donald Worster calls for an interdiscipli- 
nary approach to the West "that goes back to and builds 
on Powell's early insights into the significance of the 
land for the region and the need for social adaptation" 
(p. 1 19). Readers who are interested in the views of these 
distinguished scholars, though, will find their ideas set 
forth to better advantage in their own books than in this 
haphazardly-assembled volume. 

William A. Dobak 
University of Kansas 

The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley. 

By Glenda Riley. Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1994. Illustrations, bibliography, index. 272 
pages. Cloth, $25.95 

Glenda Riley's biography of Annie Oakley offers 
not only a forthright portrayal of the legendary sharp- 


Wyoming History Journal 

shooter, but also opens intriguing questions about 
women's self-imaging and the creation of Western myths. 
During her lifetime Annie Oakley consciously molded 
an image of herself as a Victorian lady, demure and femi- 
nine at the same time that she excelled in the skill of 
shooting firearms. Though raised in Ohio and a resident 
of Manhattan for much of her adult life, Oakley allowed 
herself to be associated with the West and its imagery. 

If the first obligation of the biographer is to recon- 
struct her subject's life accurately, Riley has done an 
admirable job given the sparseness of Oakley's own 
documents and the abundance of tall tales perpetuated 
about her. Riley's ability to sort through the facts and 
fabrications, as well as her interesting discussion on the 
significance of Annie Oakley as both real person and as 
legend, constitute the valuable contribution of this book. 

Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses (or 
Mosey) in 1860 in Darke County, Ohio. Her father died 
in 1866, leaving a large family destitute and forcing his 
widow to farm out several of the children, including 
Annie, to neighbors and the county poor house. The des- 
perate, and at times abusive, circumstances of Annie's 
childhood forged in her a burning need to achieve re- 
spectability and security. She began her rise to celebrity 
by besting her future husband, Frank Butler, in a shoot- 
ing match in 1875. After their marriage Frank managed 
Annie's successful career as shooter and entertainer. 
They traveled with numerous shows, most notably Buf- 
falo Bill's Wild West, from the 1880s through 1913. After 
retiring from the arena, Annie Oakley continued to shoot 
in exhibitions until her death in 1926. 

Building on her natural talent, Oakley practiced long 
hours to perfect her amazing performances. She could 
blast coins out of the air, split a playing card held edge- 
wise, hit one hundred glass balls tossed up in a row, and 
shoot the ash off a cigar clenched in an assistant's teeth. 
Annie Oakley could shoot from horseback, hanging up- 
side down, or backwards by looking in a mirror. Her 
feats thrilled audiences throughout the United States and 
Europe. Oakley championed women's participation in 
the sport of shooting, encouraging women to take an 
interest in shooting as a means of increasing their self- 
esteem and security. Yet she remained a model of pro- 
priety, modesty, and femininity. 

Riley has shown perceptively how Oakley and Frank 
Butler constructed an image which grew into the Annie 
Oakley legend. Out of her desire to overcome her im- 
poverished background, Oakley consciously cultivated 
a reputation of middle-class respectability. Butler and 
Oakley deliberately promoted her as a Western enter- 
tainer by associating her act with guns, horses, Western 

clothing, and Indians. Fortunately, Riley does not con- 
demn this as crass opportunism, but rather suggests that 
the construction of the Oakley legend reflects the vital- 
ity of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 
Americans wanted to believe that the West represented 
values of hard work, honesty, independence, simplicity, 
and closeness to nature. Annie Oakley embodied all of 
these virtues, and all that remained was for her promot- 
ers to suggest an affiliation with the West in order to 
complete the legend. From dime novels to a recent mini- 
series based on Larry McMurtry's Buffalo Girls, this 
legend has continued to engage the American public. 
Glenda Riley's book allows us to know the real Annie 
Oakley as well as to follow the creation of this fascinat- 
ing legend. 

Lynn Getz 

Appalachian State University 

Boone, North Carolina 

Politics in the Postwar American West. 

Edited by Richard Lowitt. Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1995. Maps, notes, bibliography, index, x 
and 416 pages. Cloth, $49.50, paper, $19.95. 

The West as a region distinct from the frontier-era 
West has become an increasingly popular concern of his- 
torians. In considering the post-frontier West most of its 
historians regard World War II as a significant demarca- 
tion in western development. Since the war's end in 1945, 
the politics of western states has been dominated by is- 
sues stemming from rapid development and urbaniza- 
tion, such as water use, Native American land claims 
and conservative ideology. With the aim of describing 
and analyzing western political characteristics, Richard 
Lowitt arranged to have a chapter written on each of the 
nineteen states comprising his defined west. Recogniz- 
ing the various contentions about western boundaries, 
Lowitt explained "For the purpose of this volume, the 
American West comprises all of the plains states, from 
the Dakotas to Texas, and extends westward to the Pa- 
cific coast and beyond to include Alaska and Hawaii." 
(p. ix) 

Given freedom to select their own topics some au- 
thors covered only a single topic such as an election cam- 
paign and others provided a survey of their state's politi- 
cal evolution from 1945 to the present. Thus, Richard 
Lowitt in "Two-Star General, Three-Time Loser: Patrick 
Hurley Seeks a Senate Seat in New Mexico" concen- 
trated on Hurley's third attempt, a controversial loss to 


Dennis Chavez in 1952 and Ben Procter colorfully por- 
trayed "The Texas Gubernatorial Election of 1990: 
Claytie [Clayton Williams] Versus the Lady [Ann 
Richards]."' Authors writing broad analytical surveys in- 
cluded Jackson K. Putnam ("A Half- Century of Con- 
flict: The Rise and Fall of Liberalism in California Poli- 
tics, 1943- 1 993"), David B. Danbom ("A Part of the 
Nation and Apart from the Nation: North Dakota Poli- 
tics Since 1945"), Danney Goble ('"The More Things 
Change...': Oklahoma Since 1945"), and Herbert I. 
Hoover and Steven C. Emery ("South Dakota Gover- 
nance Since 1945"). In "The Emergence of a Republi- 
can Majority in Utah, 1 970- 1 992" Thomas G. Alexander 
presents a thoughtful study on the nature and increasing 
popularity of western conservatism. 

Four of the chapters concern the politics of water 
use, a common theme in the arid west where many resi- 
dents see themselves as enterprising and individualistic 
despite their heavy dependence on the federal 
government's development of water resources. Peter 
Iverson ("The Cultural Politics of Water in Arizona"). 
Sandra K. Davis ("Water Politics in Colorado: Change, 
or Business as Usual?"), James E. Sherow and Homer 
E. Socolofsky ("Kansas and Water: Survival in the Heart- 
land"), and Robert E. Ficken ("Grand Coulee Dam. the 
Columbia River, and the Generation of Modern Wash- 
ington") all see water use and attendant environmental 
concerns as the central issue in their state's political and 
economic evolution. 

Although aspects of contention over the environment 
between developers and preservationists are at least a 
part of more than half of the chapters, two are devoted 
entirely to environmental questions. In "The Crude and 
the Pure: Oil and Environmental Politics in Alaska," Pe- 
ter Coates considered the impact of the federal govern- 
ment and environmental groups in the building of the 
Alaskan pipeline, and in "The Battle to Control Land 
Use: Oregon's Unique Law of 1973," E. Kimbark 
MacColl described Oregon's leadership in environmen- 
tal management by giving the state authority to compel 
localities to adhere to state environmental goals. 

Politics relating to economic development (or in the 
case of Montana the quest for it) were covered by David 
Emmons ("The Price of 'Freedom': Montana in the Late 
and Post-Anaconda Era") and Jerome E. Edwards 
("Gambling and Politics in Nevada'), which describes 
the meteoric rise of Las Vegas' economic and political 
importance. In the area of labor history right-to-work 
legislation has been one manifestation of western con- 
servatism. Willliam C. Pratt considered this in "Employer 
Offensive in Nebraska Politics, 1946-1949" and H. Brett 
Melendy also described an aspect of labor relations in 

Winter 19Q6 
"Labor and Ethniticy in Hawaiian Politics." 

In "Harassment, Hate, and Human Rights in Idaho," 
Stephen Shaw wrote about the white supremacist move- 
ment and analyzed why Idaho became a base for ultra- 
conservative militants. 

The authors generally concluded that the West has 
emerged from its colonial status relative to domination 
by outside business interests. Interestingly, Phil and 
Peggy Bieber-Roberts challenged this belief in '"Poli- 
tics Is Personal': Postwar Wyoming Politics and the 
Media," by describing the replacement of Wyoming's 
home-owned newspapers by out-of-state corporations, 
which they see as a continuance of colonialism.. 

The authors were extremely well-qualified to un- 
dertake their studies. All had research and writing expe- 
rience in the history of western politics. Consequently, 
the work features well-researched, informative and 
oftentimes interpretive essays that collectively describe 
the main characteristics of recent western politics. Any- 
one interested in the topic would benefit from reading 
this significant book. 

William E. Lass 
Mankato State University 

For a Child's Sake: History of the 
Children's Hospital Denver, Colorado. 

By Rickey Hendricks and Mark S. Foster. Niwot, Colo- 
rado: University Press of Colorado, 1994. xiv and 209 
pages. Illustrations, notes, appendix, index. Paper. 


Histories of hospitals usually fall into one of two 
categories. Either the history is largely a public rela- 
tions piece — usually written by a retired physician enu- 
merating the medical accomplishments of the hospital's 
doctors, or it is a more balanced account of medical ac- 
complishments and social context written by a histo- 
rian. For a Child's Sake lies somewhere in between. The 
authors, a professional writer and a history professor, 
have written a scholarly volume that nonetheless bears 
the marks of having been commissioned by the 
Children's Hospital, Denver, Board of Directors. 

Children's Hospital, Denver, was founded with the 
mission of caring for sick children; research to advance 
medical knowledge did not begin to be even a small part 
of the hospital's mission until the mid-1950s. Because 
the hospital did not seriously engage in research until 
recently and because it is an institution that fits the es- 
tablished pattern of twentieth century hospitals, the au- 


Wyoming History Journal 

thors' task of writing an interesting history was a diffi- 
cult one. 

The Children's Hospital on Great Ormond Street in 
London, widely considered the first children's hospital 
in the world, opened its doors in 1852. In this country, 
several children's hospitals were founded from the late 
1 840s through the late 1860s. Children's Hospital, Phila- 
delphia, for example, started in 1855, and Children's 
Hospital, Boston, was founded in 1 869. 

So, by the time Children's Hospital, Denver, was 
founded in 1 9 1 0, these older hospitals had already paved 
the way, establishing that separate hospitals for infants 
and children were necessary, desirable, and good medi- 
cal practice. Children's Hospital, Denver, was not, there- 
fore, a new type of institution; it was merely a new type 
of institution to the region. 

Children's Hospital, Denver, like other hospitals 
founded in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, 
was organized as a charitable institution and adminis- 
tered by women, although most of the physicians were 
men. As the twentieth century wore on, however, anti- 
biotics and other advancements enabled physicians to 
treat patients more effectively. No longer limited to nur- 
turing the sick, hospitals became businesses that were 
taken over by men. While Chiidren's Hospital, Denver, 
readily embraced this change, it was longer in adopting 
the change that would ensure its continued existence: 
affiliation with the University of Colorado Medical Cen- 
ter. Although the first mention of the necessity of some 
type of merger was in 1969, it was not effected until 
1991. This may be the most interesting chapter in the 
hospital's history. 

For a Child's Sake is well- written, although it some- 
times lacks transitions. This relatively minor flaw could 
have been remedied by inserting section headings. The 
volume is sufficiently illustrated with photographs, and 
it includes an appendix listing presidents of the hospital 
association, medical staff, and hospital auxiliary, admin- 
istrators, medical directors, and directors of nursing. Not 
all the photographs, however, are dated, and the appen- 
dix would have been more useful if it had included dates 
of tenure. 

Children's Hospital, Denver, has a history of pro- 
viding excellent medical care to children in a region that 
had previously lacked such care. The hospital is not re- 
nowned for medical research that advanced patient care, 
but it is celebrated for implementing the latest treatment 
and technologies as soon as they become available. For 
a Child's Sake does not shed new light on the history of 
hospitals in the twentieth century; however, it is a useful 
source for individuals interested in Colorado history, and 
it will be an invaluable resource for current and future 


physicians, administrators, and staff of Children's Hos- 
pital, Denver. 

Joan Krizack 
Northeastern University 

Keeping the Peace: Police Reform in Mon- 
tana, 1889 to 1918. 

By Robert A. Harvie. Helena: Montana Historical So- 
ciety Press, 1994. xiv and 194 pp. Illustrations, appen- 
dices, notes, bibliography, index. Cloth, $19.95, paper, 

In Keeping the Peace: Police Reform in Montana, 
1889 to 1918, Robert A. Harvie presents an excellent 
history concerning the development of police depart- 
ments in seven small Montana towns. Focusing on the 
period from 1 889, when Montana became a state, through 
the progressive era, Harvie's work fills a void concern- 
ing our knowledge not only of law enforcement in small 
communities, but especially in small western towns. 

Most histories concerning police focus on major cit- 
ies founded during the colonial or early national period. 
In contrast, Harvie has written a work focusing on west- 
em towns only several decades old who were just emerg- 
ing from the frontier experience. Because of this differ- 
ence, this work's major contribution is that in small west- 
em towns, police reformers were more interested in eradi- 
cating frontier values and life-styles, rather than chal- 
lenging those values and life-styles associated with the 
Gilded Age. In Glasgow, Miles City, Bozeman, Dillon, 
Hamilton, Kalispell, and Whitefish, progressives sought 
the adoption of eastern law enforcement methods to re- 
place methods long associated with the frontier. 

Montana's progressives began their march down the 
road to reform in 1889, as soon as statehood allowed 
these towns to incorporate themselves into separate 
municipalities with the power to provide urban services. 
In a very brief period of time, the newly founded police 
departments replaced county sheriffs as the main up- 
holder of law and order. From that time on the story 
becomes a familiar one, paralleling the development of 
big-city police. There were the various campaigns to 
depoliticize the police, to make them more professional 
and efficient, and to mold them into crime fighters rather 
than maintaining order. 

In his conclusion, Harvie argues that reform in these 
small town police departments was a mixed success. The 
police remained politicized and were unenthusiastic 
about enforcing moral reforms aimed at prohibiting al- 

cohol and prostitution. On the other hand, Harvie fails 
to adequately emphasize that, unlike their big-city coun- 
terparts, these small town Montana police departments 
did not make the mistake of abandoning their order main- 
tenance function and become overly committed crime 
fighters. His chapters on "Maintaining Order: Regu- 
lating Transients," and "Cleaning Up the City: 
Regulating 'Decent Folks'" are major contributions to 
our knowledge of police history in small towns. 

Harvie is to be commended for having produced such 
an excellent work. Besides covering nearly every as- 
pect of police work, he broke new ground expanding 
our knowledge concerning law enforcement in small 
western towns and their commitment to maintaining or- 
der. He also has provided an extraordinarily well-writ- 
ten work, especially for a sociologist. Keeping the Peace 
is highly recommended for scholars as well as students 
at both the graduate and undergraduate levels who are 
interested in the history of the police, small towns, the 
West, and Montana. 

Fred VV. Viehe 

Youngstown State University 

The 1849 California Trail Diaries of 
Elijah Preston Howell. 

Edited by Susan Badger Doyle and Donald E. Buck. 
Independence, Missouri: Oregon-California Trails 
Association. 1955. Maps, notes, appendixes, bibliogra- 
phy, indexes, xxiv + 181 pp. Cloth, $24.95. Paper. 

The volume here under review is the first of the 
Emigrant Trails Historical Studies Series published by 
The Oregon-California Trails Association under the 
General Editorship of Susan Badger Doyle. That 
Howell's diary is among the best of those extant is re- 
flected in the five star raring assigned to it by Merrill 
Mattes in his encyclopedic Platte River Narratives. In 
addition to the co-editors, four other members of OCTA 
(Roger P. Blair, Randy Brown. Thomas Hunt and Rose 
Ann Tompkins) contributed to the production of what 
can only be described as a first-rate piece of historical 
editing and annotating. By its nature, this volume will 
not, of course, appeal to those whose interest focuses 
solely on narrative accounts, but it will be a mother lode 
as rich as any discovered by the '49ers for readers whose 
interest/fascination in trail history is deep and genuine. 

This work is, in a sense, a bargain for it includes 
two versions of Howell's account, reproduced in col- 
umns with corresponding dates. The first account was 

Winter 1996 

based on letters sent by Howell to his brother; these let- 
ters included material taken verbatim from the original 
diary which has been lost. The second version consists 
of a copy of the diary which Howell recorded and am- 
plified (with the assistance of his daughters when infir- 
mity rendered it impossible for him to do the work un- 
assisted) during the 1870s. 

A twelve and a half page Introduction provides the 
reader with ample background both on Howell and on 
the 1849 migration itself. It summarizes not only the 
experiences of Howell, but presents a succinct overview 
of the problems/dangers/difficulties which confronted 
the gold seekers during their transcontinental trek. 
Throughout the presentation of the body of the diaries, 
footnotes are most effectively used. As would be ex- 
pected, they provide very detailed descriptions of the 
route followed by Howell, indicating the contemporary 
location of mentioned sites where such location is known. 
The co-editors and contributors have also made a most 
effective use of other diaries/primary sources contem- 
porary with that of Howell to :( 1) fill in many details: 
(2) correct Howell's mistakes; and ( 3 ) provide additional 
background and perspective for the reader. As examples, 
one might cite footnote #9 which provides information 
on the manner in which wagon trains were organized, 
footnote #146 explaining why the name "Merry Suck- 
ers" was applied to immigrants from Illinois and foot- 
note #245 providing contemporary descriptions of 
Lassen's Ranch near the end of the trail. 

This reviewer found nothing in this work which 
would justify, let alone require, negative comment. His 
curiosity was, however, aroused by the reference on page 
84 to "Hell Greasers" or "Helltown Greasers" and on 
page 1 16 to "Massacre Creek." With the source of so 
many other names accounted for, where did these come 

If the quality of this volume is indicative of what 
will be forthcoming as part of this series, trail history 
buffs and scholars alike have much eagerly to antici- 
pate. In the meantime, they should without delay avail 
themselves of this attractively produced and presented 

Robert L. Munkres 
Muskingum College 


Wyoming History Journal 


By Hugh Downs. Atlanta: Turner Publishing, Inc., 
1995. 300 pages. Cloth, $19.95. 

Television newsman Hugh Downs once worked, 
during his youth, on a ranch near Laramie. He also has 
enjoyed vacations in Wyoming. And, in 1992, during a 
visit to the University of Wyoming campus where he 
met journalism majors and other students, Downs do- 
nated his collection of personal and professional pa- 
pers concerning his distinguished career to the UW 
American Heritage Center. 

His new book Perspectives is interesting, educa- 
tional, and fun to read. For Wyoming readers who al- 
ways enjoy finding references to the West and, more 
specifically, Wyoming, the Downs book provides that 

The 1995 book is a collection of short essays. The 
book also is evidence of Downs' intellectual depth for 
providing informative, thought-provoking perspectives 
on wide-ranging subjects, such as space travel, the 
"Mona Lisa" painting, metaphors, the Iroquis, the South 
Pole, and education. 

Downs, a co-host of ABC's 20/20 news program 
and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, 
the person who has appeared more hours on television 
than anyone else in the world, is both "curious journal- 
ist" and "Renaissance man." He's read all 132 volumes 
of the "Great Books of the Western World." He's a pi- 
lot, a sailor, and an explorer. And his essays show that 
Downs enjoys learning, has a penchant for teaching, 
and seems rather ageless in his ability to keep an open 
mind for the broader goal of learning. 

The book contains a good share of humor. For ex- 
ample, Downs noted that the U.S. Department of Inte- 
rior has been known to replace the word "cowboy" with 
the longer description "mobile mountain-range tech- 

The book also includes personal stories about 
Downs' life. In one essay, Downs tells about his start 
in broadcast journalism, which was indeed humble. At 
age 1 7 and "pounding the pavement" looking for work 
during the Depression, he stopped to purchase a dis- 
counted gallon of milk and passed by a radio station. 
On a whim, he went into the radio station office and 
asked the receptionist what it would take to be a radio 
announcer. The station owner, hearing his conversa- 
tion, asked him to put the gallon of milk down and 
read a few lines of a commercial. The owner critiqued 
Downs' audition as "terrible" but also gave him a part- 

time job, which later turned into a full-time job at 
$12.50 per week. 

Also, in the book, Downs tells the humorous story 
about a practical joke he pulled one time in the 1950s 
when he got together with friends in Wyoming. It was 
a practical joke that Downs said got out of hand and 
almost backfired. 

Downs said he'd been going to a friend's ranch 
near Laramie in the summers "to explore the wilder- 
ness and punch cattle and enjoy the wide open spaces." 
Some friends were due to arrive at a nearby airstrip, 
and Downs had arranged for a group of masked cow- 
boy bandits to meet and "rob" them all as they traveled 
by old-fashioned team and wagon back to the ranch. 
The "robbers" played the part, but then strayed from 
Downs' instructions with one detail. At gunpoint, they 
made the ranch owner and Downs get off their horses 
and walk. The visitors in the team and wagon arrived 
at the ranch ahead of Downs and the ranch owner, and, 
still thinking the whole event was real, announced what 
had happened to the ranch hands. The ranch hands, in 
turn, formed a quick posse. Downs said, "We had to 
get back to the wranglers who had posed as robbers 
and tell them not to come in, that they might get shot. 
It crossed my mind that this development might be a 
practical joke on us — but it wasn't — and we had a sticky 
situation rounding up this impromptu posse and get- 
ting their guns back on the wall." 

David L. Roberts 

University of Northern Colorado 


Roadside History of Wyoming. 

By Candy Moulton. Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press 
Publishing Company, 1995. xxiv + 416 pages. Illustra- 
tions, maps, bibliography, index. Cloth, $30. Paper, $ 1 8. 

Candy Moulton's Roadside History of Wyoming is a 
welcome addition to the growing collection of Wyoming 
guides. It follows a long tradition - from the trail guides 
of the Oregon pioneers to the W.P A. Guidebook of the 
Great Depression to more recent works by Mary Ann 
Trevathan, Don Pitcher, and Nathaniel Burt. Moulton 
begins with a short review of Wyoming history. The 
main text is divided into five parts, corresponding to re- 
gions in the state: Rendezvous Country in the west, Or- 
egon Trail Country across the center, Union Pacific Coun- 
try across the southern tier, Powder River Country in the 


Winter 1996 

northeast, and Bighorn Country in the northwest. Each 
section begins with a map of that region. Moulton uses 
historical photographs liberally. Nearly every page has 
a wonderful photo of the Union Pacific shops, Oregon 
Trail ruts, or a street scene from the turn of the century. 

As Moulton wanders from city to ghost town to his- 
torical site, she offers the reader a concise, but well-de- 
veloped history. Although readers may disagree with her 
conclusions, Moulton presents such controversial sub- 
jects in Wyoming history as the lynchings of Ella Watson 
and James Averell, the massacre of Chinese miners at 
Rock Springs, and the Johnson County War with a far 
broader perspective than any other roadside volume pub- 
lished to date. 

This is an ideal book for those who love to browse 
with a total disregard for page numbering. It is, per- 
haps, better suited to people who have lived in Wyo- 
ming for some time and know their way around the state 
than for first-time tourists or newcomers. At times, 
Moulton assumes an inborn knowledge of locations. 
Rarely does she offer the reader explicit directions. 

A quick look at the Wyoming section of any book- 
store will show which topics sell - the frontier west, cow- 
boys, and ranching. Whether Moulton concentrates on 
these areas because of marketability or because of her 
own rural ranching roots, she does not fully address 
Wyoming's urban, ethnic, mining, and twentieth cen- 
tury histories. 

All in all. Candy Moulton's Roadside Histoiy of 
Wyoming, is an delightful inside job. It is the work of 
someone who knows, lives, and loves Wyoming. Those 
who share that love will enjoy reading it. 

John Egan 

University of Wyoming 

Black Saints in a White Church: Contem- 
porary African American Mormons. 

By Jessie L. Embry. Salt Lake City: Signature Press, 
1995. Appendix, bibliography, index, xvi & 288 pages. 
Paper, $18.95. 

Jessie L. Embry has constructed a stimulating and 
beneficial study of African-American Mormons. The 
study combines historical and sociological methods and 
insights to probe the feelings, opinions, and experiences 
of African-American Latter-day Saints. The bulk of 
Embry's analysis is based on more than two hundred 
oral histories and an additional two hundred mail sur- 

veys. The samples are not statistically random because 
of the difficulty in locating this population. However, 
the national scope of the data collection process sug- 
gests a comprehensive and diverse sample. 

The book contains an introduction and eleven chap- 
ters. The introduction discusses the events that led to the 
research, identifies its objectives, and introduces some 
of the general findings of the study. It also raises mean- 
ingful questions but is too loosely focused to give solid 
conceptual arid theoretical direction to the study. As a 
consequence, subsequent analyses remain sketchy and 

Chapters One through Three provide historical back- 
ground on African American religious traditions, the role 
of African Americans in the early formation of the Mor- 
mon Church, and the impact of Mormon restrictions on 
African Americans. A weak section is Chapter One, 
which examines the evolution of African American reli- 
gious traditions. This discussion is simply too short and 
addresses too few of the important texts in the field to 
provide an appropriate framework to interpret African 
American religious behavior in general and the conver- 
sion to Mormonism in particular. 

Chapter Four describes the sampling and data-col- 
lection procedures for the oral histories and the survey. 
Here, Embry reports some of the survey results and com- 
pares them with extant data on the characteristics of Af- 
rican Americans and White Latter-Day Saints. An im- 
portant focus is on conversion experiences and the rea- 
sons behind movement from one religion to another. 
These are some of the most important issues raised by 
this study, but, in the absence of solid theoretical and 
conceptual grounding, the analysis remains impression- 
istic and superficial. 

Chapters Five through Ten are the strongest chap- 
ters of the text. Embry conveys a balanced and lucid 
description of the views and experiences of African 
American Latter-Day Saints revealed by the data. These 
descriptions convey efforts by African Americans to func- 
tion within Mormonism as they relate to the issues of 
religious commitment, cultural interaction, public ac- 
ceptance, social acceptance, and interactions within the 
broader African-American community. These accounts 
are well written and informative. We get a superb sense 
of the depth and richness of the oral histories and survey 

Chapter Eleven continues to draw upon the data and 
reflects upon the future of African Americans in Mor- 
monism. Embry, throughout, advances the need to bring 
more African Americans into Mormonism without de- 
stroying their unique identity and culture. However, the 


Wyoming History Journal 

author never addresses whether or not the existing ex- 
pressive conventions of Mormonism are necessary to 
sustain its theological foundations. In other words, can 
Mormonism take on non-White cultural conventions and 
still be Mormonism; must Mormonism forever be de- 
fined by Whites and by "White culture" to be valid to its 
White adherents? Is Mormonism inextricably connected 
to a normative White racial identity? What do the an- 
swers to these questions mean in light of the religious 
behavior of African- American Mormons and the evolu- 
tion of African- American religious traditions in this coun- 

This volume would have been enhanced greatly by 
a glossary of Mormon nomenclature. The book is geared 
toward a Mormon audience, and much of the organiza- 
tional and theological terminology is not evident to non- 
Mormons. Also, a chapter that surveys the views of White 
Mormons regarding their interactions with African- 
American Mormons would provide an interesting con- 
trast. Despite some theoretical and conceptual limita- 
tions, this is an important and useful book. 

Dr. Clovis E. Semmes 
Eastern Michigan University 


Historic Cowboy Qear 
of the Northern Plains 

by Tom Lindmier & Steve Mount 




Authors Lindmier and Mount tackled this question and sought the 
proof in historic photos, most from Wyoming sources. No Hollywood 
flim-flam or arty catalog re-creation here. Over 120 historic photos 
and illustrations show northern plains cowboys wearing the clothing 
and using the gear that they worked with in their day-to-day lives- 
authentic hats, boots, saddles, chaps, wagons and more. 

Lindmier and Mount placed importance not only on correctly iden- 
tifying the gear, but also on identifying the cowboys by name. Many 
readers will find photos of people they know. 

ISBN 0-931271-33-9: large format (10 x 8 inch) paperback, 176 pps, 
128 photos and illustrations, index, bibliography, $16.95 


Plains Press 

-Bringing Wyominq to Readers - 

At bookstores 

or direct from the publisher. 

Mail orders 

add $2 per book shipping. 


j residents add 5% tax. 



Box 123, Glendo Wyoming 82213 


(307) 735-4370 



Recent Articles About Wyomin: 

Compiled by Ron Diener, Teton County Chapter, WSHS 


Cattle Trade, Wyoming "Cowboy Tradition Continues at Wyo- 
ming Hereford Ranch," by Kathleen Brown, in Persimmon Hill, 
23. 1 (Spring 1995), 10-1 1, is an appreciative survey of what 
this traditional ranch has to offer. Her remark that the ranch 
"could easily pass as a movie set" was very startling, however: 
since when is the real thing measured by an intentional fake'' 
Still and all, a good article. 
Civilian Conservation Corps - For those interested in the CCC in 
the west (four articles have appeared in the past three years), a 
particularly well-done exemplar is that of Harold Houslev. 
"Notes and Documents: Elwood Decker and the CCC at Fort 
Churchill," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 38, 2 (Sum- 
mer 1995), 105-121. 
Frontier thesis, Frederick Jackson Turner - Patricia Nelson Lim- 
erick. "Turnerians All : the Dream of a Helpful History in an 
Intelligible World," American Historical Review, 1 00. 3 (June 
1995). 697-716. concluded her major paper with a memorable 
quotation about the role of the historian: Frederick Jackson 
Turner embodied the idea of historians as public servants, as 
scholars whose inquiries into the past could contribute directly 
and concretely to human well-being in the present. 
Lewis and Clark, the Scientific Exploration - Robert D. Clark, 
"The Strange Case of Oregon's Spring Beauty: Discovery, Ab- 
duction. Rescue. Identity." Oregon Historical Quarterly, 96, I 
(Spring 95). 80-97. Taking the spring beauty (taxonomically 
and technically known as the deniaria tenella). the author traces 
the scientific explorations by Lewis and Clark, specifically the 
botanical materials that were turned over for publication to 
Frederick Pursch. Pursch allegedly made claims of discovery 
for himself when he went to England with Lewis and Clark's 
specimens in hand. These specimens later came back to America 
after being auctioned, leading to the discovery of their prov- 
enance. Good detective work! 
Native Americans, Literature Survey - While one misses some 
well-known and favorite authors in Wyoming and of Wyo- 
ming history', there is much to be found in R. David Edmunds. 
Native Americans. New Voices: American Indian History. 
1895-1 995," American Historical Review. 100. 3 (June 1995), 
7 1 7-740. The framework that he has used can be very useful in 
assembling bibliographies or surveys. 
Native Americans, A Seminar - The summer 1995 issue was the 
location for the publication of the annual seminar (1994) on 
Native Americans for elementary and secondary schoolteach- 
ers by the Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho Yesterdays A 
Journal of Idaho and Northwest History, 39, 2 (Summer 1995): 
Loran Olson, "The Power of Song : Native Music in the North- 
west, pp. 3-9. 

"Kutenai Tales," collected by Franz Boas (originally published 
in the Smithsonian BAE Bulletin 59), pp. 10-11. 
Rodney Frey, "From the Stories, a World is Made." p. 12-16. 
"Nez Perce Myths and Tales," introduction by Tomas Jaehn 
(transcript of an 1879 verbatim), pp. 17-22. 
William F. Tydeman, "No Passive Relationship : Native Ameri- 
cans in the Environment," pp. 23-28. 

Trails, the Cherokee Trail - Jack E. and Patricia K.A. Fletcher. 
"The Cherokee Trail," photographs and trail mapping by Lee 
Whiteley. Overland Journal, 13. 2 (Summer 1995). 21-33. Part 
of a forthcoming book on the Cherokee Trail, the descriptions 
and mapping of southern Wyoming are particularly welcome. 
The photography also helps would-be trekkers identify posi- 
tions and directions. 
Trails, the Mormon Handcart Companies - Lyndia McDowell 
Carter, The Mormon Handcart Companies," Overland Journal, 
13, 1 (Spring 1995). 2-18, has traced the story of the handcarters 
of 1856, 1857. 1859 and 1860- their journeys and their hard- 
ships. While their total population represents but a small num- 
ber of Mormons who finally settled in Utah, their ventures have 
achieved mythic proportions and dimensions in the memory and 
literature of the Mormon emigration to the west. 


DeSmet - Note the harsh critique by Christoper Veesey of John 
J. Killoren. "Come. Blackrobe ": De Smet and the Indian Trag- 
edy (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1994). in the 
American Historical Review, 100. 1 (October 1995). 1298. 

Lewis and Clark - Dan Flores confessed to his "ambivalent" 
reaction to Albert Furrwangler. Acts of Discovery: I'isions of 
America in the Lewis and Clark Journals (Urbana : University 
of Illinois Press. 1993). in Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 86. 4 
(Fall 1995). 189-190. Read the review before you buy! 

Parkman - Merrill J. Mattes reviewed the new edition of Francis 
Parkman, The Oregon Trail, edited by E.N. Feltskog (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press. 1994), \n Overland Journal. 13,1 
(Spring 1995). 35-36. Continental European historians of lit- 
erature commonly expend considerable energies on the so-called 
Reception of a literary work, including anaK tic bibliographical 
work (editions, issues), reviews and opinions of contemporar- 
ies and the influence of the work to the present time. Feltskog 
has done just that in his magnificent introduction to the Parkman 

If a subscription amount is given for an individual (or equiva- 
lent), the annual amount is noted. If a telephone number is in- 
cluded in the masthead, it is also noted. 
American Historial Review, ISSN: 0002-8762. 400 A Street S. E.. 

Washington DC 20003 202/544-2422 : $65 
Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, ISSN: 0047-9462, 1650 N 

Virginia St, Reno NV 89503 $25 
Oregon Historical Quarterly. ISSN: 0030-4727. 1200 SW Park Ave. 

Portland OR 97205 $25 
Overland Journal Quarterly Journal of the Oregon-California Trails 

Association, ISSN: 0738-1093, P. 0. Box 1019, Independence 

MO 64051 816/252-2276 
Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 4045 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle WA 

98105 206/543-2992 $22 
Persimmon Hill, ISSN: 0093-707X, 1700 NE 63d St. Oklahoma 

City OK 731 11: $20 
The Western Historical Quarterly. ISSN: 0043-3810. Utah State 

University, Logan UT 84322 


^f^oming State 
Historical Society 
Membership Dues 



gle individual annual membership 

Joint annual membership 

(two persons residing at same address) 
Student individual membership 

(registered students up to age 21) 
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The dues listed above represent minimum contribu- 
tions to the work or the society. If you believe the 
Wyoming State Historical Society plays an important 
role in the quality or lire in our state, we urge you to 
consider participation at one or the following higher 
levels. Membership dues beyond the minimums listed 
above may be considered a tax-deductible contribution 
to the Wyoming Historical Foundation. 
Contributing annual membership $100-249 
Sustaining annual membership $250-490 

Patron annual membership $500-999 

Donor annual membership $1,000 + 

Coming in tne 
Spring Issue 

World War II in Wyoming 

Our first annual theme issue examines the impact 
of the war on Wyoming, its economy, culture and 


Other articles in forthcoming issues: 

* Colorado River Compact and Wyoming Water 

* Dr. Elwood Mead and Federal Water Projects 

* Mexican Sheepherders in Wyoming 

* The "Race Horse" Case 

and much more. 

Letters to tne Journal 

We welcome letters from readers about the 
articles and reviews in Wyoming History Jour- 
nal. Starting in the spring issue, we will publish 
your letters commenting about our articles on 
Wyoming history. If you have questions for any 
of the authors of these articles or others in recent 
issues, write us. Also, if you wish to comment 
about an interpretation or provide another view- 
point about the subject of any article in this 
journal, we'd like to hear from you. Letters must 
reference an article or review in the journal, be 
limited to less than 200 words and be signed. 
Wyoming History Journal 

P. O. Box 4256 

Laramie WY 82071 







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History Journal 

Ifk Journal of the Wyoming State Historical Societi 

Spring 1996 Vol. 68, C\[o. 1 

first Annual Theme Issue: 

'Worfd'War II in Wyoming 

With this issue, the Wyoming History Journal presents its first annual 
theme issue, a look at the tumultuousyears of World War II in Wyoming. Most 
of the articles included here resulted from a three-year project cosponsored by 
the Wyoming State Historical Society and the Wyoming State Museum and 
mostly funded by a generous grant from the Wyoming Council for the 
Humanities. The project also produced two permanent exhibits at the Wyo- 
ming State Museum, three traveling exhibits which have visited many 
Wyoming communities, oral history interviews, public programs exploring 
the effects of the war on individual Wyoming residents, and a two-day 
conference held in Casper during the fall of 1995. The articles by Michael 
Cassity (the principal researcher for the project), Jere' Franco, A. Dudley 
Gardner, and AntonetteChambersNoble all were presented at the conference. 
Journal co-editor Rick Ewig was project director. 

The paintings used to illustrate the Journal 's cover are part of the mural 
painted during 1 943 and 1 944 by four soldiers stationed at Casper Army Air 
Base during the war. This past winter the editors asked Craig Pindell, a 
photographer for the Wyoming State Archives, if he would photograph the 
mural for this special issue. He quickly agreed and with the gracious 
assistance of Mel and Carol Ford of Casper, Craig spent several hours on a not- 
so-warm March morning preserving a rem inder of Wyoming's connection to 
the early 1940s when a war threatened the world and brought innumerable 
changes to our state. 

The mural has an interesting history which itself is worth exploring. In the 
May 26, 1 944, issue of the Slip Stream, the Casper Army Air Base newspaper, 
there is mention of the mural being "put on the walls of the lounge" of the new 
service club for the enlisted men and women stationed at the base. 

The service club offered many forms of entertainment for the soldiers. On 
Monday evenings the GIs danced to the music of the base band. Tuesday was 
"singing night." when the soldiers gathered around the piano and sang their 
favorite songs. On Wednesday the soldiers enjoyed playing bingo, winning 
such prizes as telephone calls and surprise packages containing cigarettes, 
bubble baths, and other items. Thursday was "big dance night of the week," 
Friday was show night, and Saturday movie night. Sunday was "open house 
night." during which the men and women would entertain themselves by 
reading, writing letters, making recordings of their own voices to be sent 
home." or listening to classical music. All of these activities took place in a 
room surrounded by Wyoming history. 

The idea for the mural came from Captain Matthew Davidson of Special 
Services. He chose the theme of a "Chronological History of Wyoming" in 
order "to orientate the men training at the field with the state in which they 
trained." The mural depicts twenty-one episodes in Wyoming's history, 
beginning with the Arapahoe Indian creation legend, to the Oregon Trail, to 
the coming of Casper Air Base. According to the June 30, 1944, issue of the 
Slip Stream, the "result was a series of inspired murals, not consistent as a 
whole, but far more powerful, more colorful and more representative of 
soldier feelings of the west." 

Captain Davidson chose four soldiers to paint the mural. They were 
Sergeants J. P. Morgan and William Doench, Corporal Leon Tebbetts. and 
--continued on inside back cover-- 


Rick Ewig 
Phil Roberts 

UW Interns, Spring, 1996 

Peg Arnold, John Egan, Matt 
Kowalski, Adam Lederer 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Officers, 1995-1996 

Maggi Layton, President 

Glen Morris, First Vice President 

Patty Myers, Second Vice President 

Sherry Taylor, Secretary 

Rick Ewig, Treasurer 


Board of Editors 

Barbara Allen Bogart 

Euanston (1996) 
Don Hodgson 

Torrington (1996) 
Lawrence M. Woods 

Worland (1996) 
John D. McDermott 

Sheridan (1997) 
William H. Moore 

Laramie (1997) 
Ann Noble 

Cora (1997) 
Thomas F. Stroock 

Casper (1997) 
David Kathka 

Rock Springs (1998) 
T. A. Larson 

Laramie (1998) 
Sherry Smith 

Jackson (1998) 

WSHS Publications Committee 

Maggi Layton, Chair 

Michael Cassity, 

Rick Ewig, 

Loren Jost, 

David Kathka, 

Rock Springs 
Phil Roberts, 



History journal 

'Ifie Journal of the Wyoming State 'Historical Society 

Spring 1996 'Vo l 68, 'Jig. 2 


In a Narrow Grave: World War II and the Subjugation of Wyoming 

By Michael Cassity 

World War II was the defining event in Wyoming history. The war brought about changes that recreated the at t ire of 
Wyoming, eliminating the "cowboy ethic" and replacing it with influences from the mass culture. More than tlie 'Great' 
Depression, " World War II transformed the "Cowboy State. " 


Going the Distance: World War II and the Wind River Reservation 

By Jere' Franco 

The Shoshone and Arapahoe contributions to the war effort have been overlooked. Many of their number fought in 
the army while those on the home front provided extensive services to the wartime economy. 

World War II and the Japanese of Southwest Wyoming 

By Dudley Gardner 

Relocation did not affect the Japanese of Southwest Wyoming. Nonetheless, the war changed their lives and 
their relationships with neighbors, employers and co-workers. 

Remembering Pearl Harbor 

By Beryl E. Wauson 

The author, a resident of Centennial, remembers watching the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor from atop a nearby hill. 

Bombs on the Prairie 

By Liz Barritt 

In a final, desperate attempt to instill fear on the North American continent in the waning days of World War II, 
the Japanese launched rubber-coated balloons carrying bombs. A few of the "balloon-bombs" fell in Wyoming. 

Heart Mountain: Remembering the Camp 

By Antonette Chambers Noble 

Once the third most populated city in Wyoming, the Heart Mountain camp was a tragedy for the internees 
and for the American Constitution. 

Books about World War II in Wyoming 

Tamsen Hert reviews significant books and articles about Wyoming in World War II. 

Recent Articles about Wyoming 

Ron Diener has compiled this listing of significant articles from journals, magazines and newspapers featuring 
Wyoming history subjects. 








Wyoming History Journal is publishedby the Wyoming State Historical Society in cooperation with the American Heritage Center, University ofWyoming. The journal 

was formerly known as the Quarterly Bulletin ( 1923-25), Annals of Wyoming ( 1925-1993) and Wyoming Annals ( 1993-1995). The journal has been the official 
publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1 953. The Co-Editors of Wyoming History Journal welcome manuscripts on every aspect of Wyoming and 
Western history. Authors should submit manuscripts on diskettes utilizing Word Perfect, Microsoft Word or ASCII text, and two copies double-spaced hard copy to: 
Wyoming History Journal. P. O. Box 4256, University Station. Laramie, WY 8207 1 . Manuscripts should conform to ,4 Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press) 
Authors are responsible for the interpretation in their articles Manuscripts are refereed by members of the Board of Editors and others. The co-editors make decisions 
regarding publication. For information about reprints and Journal back issues, contact the editors. 

Wyoming History Journal is received by members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Current membership is 2. 350. Membership dues are: single $20. joint $30. 
student (under 2 i )$ 1 5, institutional $40, contributing $ 1 00-249, sustaining $250-499. patron $500-999, donor $ 1 ,000+. To join, write the editors. Copies of Wyoming 
History Journal may be purchased from the editors, loumal articles are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. 

Copyright Wyoming State Historical Society 1996 
ISSN: 1086-7368 

In a flu 

now >irave : 

World War II and the Subjugation 

of Wyoming 

hij Uhchael Cassttif 

A "V for Victory" or a "W for Wyoming"? A mechanized unit or a horse 
cavalry unit? This photograph of Wyoming National Guardsmen mobilized 
for active duty conceals tensions the state experienced regarding technology, 
identity, and local control during World War II. 

Spring 1996 

An old cowboy song, familiar to many Wyomingites today, but known by even 
more of Wyoming's sons and daughters a half-century ago, includes the following 


By my father's grave there let mine he. 

And hury me not on the lone prairie. 

"Oh. hury me not—'" And his voiee failed there. 

But we took no heed of his dying prayer: 

In a narrow grave gttfit six by three 

The elegiac quality of this mournful song may 
seem to many a strange place to begin a discussion of 
the experience of Wyoming citizens and society during 
World War II. Although studies that focus on particular 
aspects of Wyoming's fate in World War II notice both 
the complexity of the war experience and the problems 
of dislocation, loss of liberties, and concentration of 
economic power during the war, ' the prevailing view of 
the war as salvation for the economy and rejuvenating 
for the life of Wyoming remains. Economically—the 
area where most emphasis is usually found in general 
discussions of the war—in the words of historian Gerald 
Nash, the war gave new life to the West, previously a 
backwash region: "In four years the war had 
transformed a backward colonial region into an 
economic pacesetter for the nation." 4 Indeed, it often 
seems that the victory in the war and the economic 
growth the war stimulated are sufficient to erase the 
hardships, the losses, and the social problems 
associated with World War II on the homefront. 

Except for the regional view of economic history, 
the historical assessment of Wyoming in World War II 
has raised significant questions and has revealed 
greater complexity than triumph and progress suggest. 
The most focused and careful study of the general 
contours of Wyoming's experience in the war, that 
provided by T. A. Larson in Wyoming's War Years: 
1941-1945,- cautiously avoids global generalizations. 
Instead, Larson chronicles both the agreeable changes 
in the reshaping of the circumstances of life in 
Wyoming during the war and also the problems that 
beset the various aspects of life in the cowboy state. He 
particularly notes the changes— not always improve- 
ments—in the economy and the erosion of parochialism 
in the state. This volume has remained the 
indispensable source for students of Wyoming in the 
war for more than four decades and will continue to 

serve as the first, and often the last, reference for 
anyone concerned with that experience. 

There was, everybody is quick to note, much 
sacrifice in the war— the sacrifice of lives of soldiers, 
the sacrifice of priorities at home, at work, and at play- 
-as virtually every area of life was touched by the war. 
And that sacrifice is ennobled by the actual 
consequences of the war— the defeat of totalitarianism, 
the preservation of freedom, a rejuvenated economy, 
and the coming into its own of a new generation of 
citizens and leaders. 

There thus emerges a picture of Wyoming in the 
war that holds a significant difficulty: The general 
experience of the war is often viewed in favorable 
terms, but the closer one looks at the particulars, the 
more qualifiers that must be added and the less 
satisfying is the general observation. 

A starting point for formulating a different context 
for understanding the impact of the war on Wyoming 
can be found in a specific set of events involving the 
mobilization of the Wyoming National Guard as the 
war clouds gathered. As early as September, 1940, 
more than a year before Pearl Harbor, some elements of 
the Wyoming National Guard had been called into 
active duty. At the same time, the Wyoming National 
Guard was federalized— removed from state control. 
The full complement of the Wyoming Guard was 
mobilized in February 1941. This was the 115th — 
"Powder River" — Cavalry. By the summer of 1941 
around 1 300 Wyoming soldiers made up the regiment. 
These citizen soldiers expected to serve for a year. 

When it was mobilized, the 1 1 5th Cavalry reported 
to Fort Lewis, Washington, for training after which it 
was assigned coastal defense duties. In this active 
service two issues emerged to mark the changes that 
World War II brought to the state. One had to do with 
the new technology of war. The Cowboy State seemed 


Wyoming History Journal 
not to tit into the modem technique of war. The 1 1 5th 
Cavalry regiment included three troops with horses. In 
the spring of 1942 tension mounted as it became clear 
that the horses were going to be eliminated as the 
cavalry became mechanized. This was not just a quiet 
conflict either. Deeply committed to their horses, the 
soldiers of the cavalry, the officers of the regiment, and 
indeed the public held an attachment to the horse 
cavalry that was slow to yield. In a 1941 review, the 
cavalry had struck a resonant chord, as reported by a 
Seattle newspaper: 

Applause rose just once yesterday from the 
crowd of 10,000 which watched the greatest 
spectacle in the history of Ft. Lewis.. . . The applause 
was for the horses and men of the 1 15th (Powder 
River) Cavalry from Wyoming. Perhaps it was for 
something else, too; something gay and romantic 
and gone forever. For the long lines of horses and 
men were gallant and fragile figures from the past . 
. . . They seemed to be riding out of another day; a 
day in which there were no tanks, no submarines, no 
bombers and no Hitler. 

In June when the horses were taken from the 
cavalry, the commander had to be confined to his office 
and the officers and soldiers had to be confined to their 
quarters to prevent a confrontation. But the horses were 
gone, and so too was gone what the horses 

The second trauma had to do with the 
disintegration of the state's identity in that military 
unit. Because of the fear of a concentration of casualties 
from a single geographic area in the event of a disaster, 
the members of the Wyomins National Guard found 

themselves assigned to other units and replacement 
troops from other parts of the country becoming part of 
the 115th. The guard's own history expresses the 
change; "During 1942, the 115th started to lose its 
Wyoming identity." Indeed, during the war only one 
part of the regiment made it to Europe, the others were 
transferred stateside, the regiment itself was broken up 
January 1, 1944, and finally the 115th Cavalry 
Reconnaissance Squadron, the last element of the 
regiment, was inactivated in March of 1945. 7 

The citizen soldiers who were mobilized into 
active duty for service in World War II experienced 
deeply the processes characteristic of modern society 
in which individual and state identities and attachments 
to particular values and traditions count less than the 
systematic organization of effort on a national basis. 
This set of events cries out for understanding and 
suggests a metaphor for the experience of Wyoming 
during the war. It suggests that forces were unleashed 
that completely transformed Wyoming, that generated 
a loss of local control, the triumph of technology, and 
a loss of identity. These forces subjugated traditional 
Wyoming. This sacrifice of society itself was more 
subtle but even greater than the obvious sacrifice of 
soldiers and sailors and airmen in combat. 

The first element in this sacrifice came at the heavy 
hand of government in addressing shortages through 
prohibitions and rationing. Dr. Larson obliquely noted 
a chilling prospect when he observed that "Most 
unpopular was the opinion that rationing would 
discipline the people and make them war conscious." 1 * 
At the same time, though, that discipline was what the 
federal government was accomplishing. Material 
shortages were everywhere — or so it seemed — since 

* i * 1 


Band, Casper Army Air Base. U. S. Army Air Forces photograph, American Heritage Center 

the war machine's first priority was for the battle 
fronts. After January 31, 1942, the manufacture of 
automobiles and light trucks was outlawed as assembly 
lines shifted to manufacture of tanks and planes. v The 
establishment of quotas for distributing cars and trucks 
to the state meant that in October, 1 942, Wyoming was 
allotted 104 cars; by October, 1944, Wyoming would 
receive only seven cars. 1 " Automobiles may be one of 
the most obvious commodities that Wyomingites did 
without, but there were many others put on the list of 
goods becoming scarcer and scarcer as manufacturers 
switched from making shirts to mosquito nets, from 
model trains to bomb fuses, from metal weather 
stripping to mortar shells, from kitchen sinks to 
cartridge cases. In the spring of 1942. the War 
Production Board banned new home construction. By 
June, 1942, consumer durable goods production in the 
United States had declined by 29 percent." People 
were simply doing without. During the Depression 
they did not have money to buy the things they wanted. 
During the war. once they had jobs and money was 
again available, the goods they wanted were not to be 
found. The people were truly becoming disciplined to 
the awesome power of the nation state. 

But the shortages became more severe. There was 
simply not enough copper, steel, and aluminum to go 
around. The available supplies were directed to 
manufacturers; they were necessary for munitions, 
aircraft, heavy weapons, tanks, ships, and other 
military materiel. Wyoming's school kids contributed 
to the scrap drive effort. Hidden Dome's three students 
gathered more than any other school: more than forty- 
three tons. Rock Springs Junior High collected an 
average of more than four tons per student. One 
hundred fifty tons of the remains of the old Ferris- 
Haggerty mine found their way into the war effort 
too. ,: Russell Thorp, of the State Historical Landmark 
Commission, protested about some of this, particularly 
the rush to gather up and send to the salvage dump old 
relics of previous wars like old courthouse cannons: 
"Why do we sit back and permit things to be destroyed 
that stand for our traditions?" 1. 

The truth is that it was not just the symbols of the 
past that were being destroyed, but the traditions and 
values and practices of the past themselves. For the 
sacrifice was not just doing without material comforts; 
the larger sacrifice had to do with the economic 
institutions and practices of a free people. With an 
abiding equation of economic democracy and political 
democracy that centered on individual choice, any 
semblance of a free market was left far behind because 
of the changes at work during the war. What emerged 

Spring 1QQ6 
in its place was a planned economy—not a socialist 
economy (handsome profits for select businesses, after 
all. were obvious), but not a market economy of supply 
and demand where the invisible hand of the consuming 
public guides the distribution of rewards in the 
economy. The economy that emerged was a planned 
economy in which government and business entered 
into a partnership and from which each would benefit, 
but it was also one in which the costs would be high for 
the public. 

One cost of this was literally in the organization of 
the economy and the payment of the bill for that 
reorganization. The pre-eminent spokesperson of free- 
market capitalism was none other than Laramie native 
Thurman Arnold. In 1937 Thurman Arnold was 
appointed head of the Anti-Trust Division of the 
Department of Justice. What he was going to do in his 
new job was to restore capitalism to the economy by 
subjecting business decisions to the force of the 
market. The threat to capitalism, he said, came from the 
business community itself which was eliminating 
competition throughout the nation, which was 
destroying small business, which was devastating 
purchasing power in the public, which was "making 
the West and the South colonies of the industrial East," 
and which had, in fact, tied itself to sacred symbols and 
myths that obscured its reality. The alternative was 
competition. "The competitive ideal." he maintained. 
". . . is essential to keep our markets free and our 
industrial development efficient." 1 " 1 

Under Thurman Arnold, the Justice Department 
undertook a more vigorous prosecution of the anti-trust 
laws than ever before in history. Indeed, during his 
administration of the laws in the late 1930s more 
prosecutions were brought than had been brought in the 
previous half century. He secured indictments against 
major price fixing activities; he prosecuted the 
automobile industry's practice of requiring customers 
to use specific lending agencies for automobile 
financing; he watched the price of milk drop by twenty- 
five per-cent immediately after he indicted the dairy 
industry for controlling prices, blocking entry to the 
trade of distributing dairy products, and using arson. 
Hogging, and stench bombings to exercise control: he 
secured a grand jury indictment of the American 
Medical Association for using its leverage to prevent 
physicians, who wished to cooperate with plans to 
provide prepaid medical care, from practicing in 
hospitals. His investigation and prosecution of the 
construction industry led to 99 criminal actions and 20 
civil suits and saved consumers, according to Arnold's 
figures, more than three hundred million dollars. He 

Wyoming History Journal 

even took on the Associated Press for refusing to allow Office of Production Management and was headed by 

its wire-service to be used by new competitive William S. Knudsen of General Motors. These 

newspapers. With the coming of World War II, agencies carried great responsibility in the organization 

however, Arnold's prosecutions were brought to a halt, of the economy for the war effort. The fact that the 

his program was dismantled, lawsuits were canceled, companies that paid them could stand to profit by their 

and he was eventually appointed to a judgeship, decisions made in the name of the U.S. government 

Businesses during the war were encouraged not to seemed to be of slight concern to the officials in 

compete but to cooperate—exactly the problem that Washington. 18 

Thurman Arnold had fought. The free market and the The Wyoming press similarly overlooked the 

mobilization for war were in conflict and the market conflict of interest and favoritism in the arrangement, 

lost. William M. Jeffers, president of the Union Pacific 

The market was replaced by centralization in a Railroad Company, was appointed U. S. rubber 

huge planning system. There was a bureaucrat administrator in 1942. In that position he was 

somewhere, usually in Washington, making the responsible for tire conservation, gasoline rationing, 

decisions about who was to receive what raw materials, and synthetic rubber production. Despite the obvious 

how much was to be paid for goods and labor, what was appearance of a conflict between his public 

going to be produced, and who was going to get the responsibility with regard to highway traffic and his 

ultimate product. 15 The list of federal planning private occupation and interest in railroad traffic, Tracy 

agencies was a long one. Their power and their size was McCraken, editor of the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne, 

even greater. brushed aside criticisms, saying ". . . we know Bill 

One consequence of this was the sheer growth in Jeffers darned well and we know he's a hard-boiled, 

the size of the federal government. There is a common straight-thinking, square-shooting practical business 

perception that the enormous federal government that man. We know he's in a position after his long study to 

we see today had its origins in the welfare proposals of know whether gasoline rationing and tire conservation 

the New Deal. It actually had its origins in World War are necessary." 19 As it turned out, gasoline rationing 

II. In the mid- 1930s, state and local school boards and tire conservation were in fact necessary. By 

employed twice as many people as the entire federal December 1, 1942, a basic ration of four gallons a week 

civilian bureaucracy. In 1945 school boards employed was imposed until October, 1943, and then was cut to 

about a third as many people as the federal civilian three gallons, and then to two gallons. By October 1, 

bureaucracy. 16 Agency after agency set up shop in 1943, passenger car mileage in Wyoming had been 

Wyoming. In small ways and large ways they went reduced by 42 percent. 20 The alternative transportation 

about their work of planning the economy and society, system in Wyoming, rail traffic, was somehow not cut. 

And there seemed to be no turning back. In January, Indeed, T. A. Larson describes Jeffers' Union Pacific 

1944, state meat supervisor J. Marius Christensen Railroad as "the state's most brilliant wartime 

reported to his superiors that his mission had been industrial achievement." "The Union Pacific's gross 

accomplished and therefore his office could be shut income soared," reports Larson. 21 More than a hundred 

down. The official response to his naive suggestion trains a day passed through Laramie in 1945. Business 

was blunt: "What are you trying to do?~put 5,000 was up for the railroads, in striking contrast to the 

people out of work?" 17 automobile in Wyoming. 

Another dimension suggests the nature of this That this was not a cozy relationship between all 

centralization and its critical feature, the close businesses and government is made further evident in 

cooperation between business and government. The the granting of wartime contracts. The government 

"dollar-a-year-men," individuals who donated their spending that brought an end to the depression was not 

service to the government's war effort as executives in being spread evenly around the nation. First of all, as 

planning agencies, were sometimes revealed as less Wyoming Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney charged, 

than selfless public servants making the great sacrifice. "The vast bulk of all contracts have been granted to a 

They remained, after all, on the payroll of the handful of corporations." 22 This was not much of an 

corporations that loaned them to the government. Thus exaggeration. Ten corporations alone received one- 

nationally, Edward R. Stettinius of U.S. Steel, a third of all war contracts; and of one billion dollars 

holding company dominated by DuPont and Morgan spent for scientific research, two-thirds of it went to 68 

interests, was the head of the War Resources Board large corporations. 23 And those corporations were not 

from 1939 to 1941. That agency was replaced by the located in Wyoming. Manufacturing expanded 



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throughout the nation during the war, 
except in two states: Wyoming 
and New Mexico. By 1945, 
Wyoming had expanded its 
manufacturing employment by 
only 300 workers over what it 
had in 1940. 24 When a special 
red, white, and blue train 
crossed Wyoming as part of its 
national trip to show businesses 
how to secure government 
contracts, it did not even stop in 
the state. Congressman John J. 
Mclntyre observed that it 
passed through Wyoming "like 
a cat through a dog show." 25 
Wyoming was left out. Small 
business was left out. Individual 
entrepreneurs were excluded. 

As we consider who paid the bill for 
this enormous expansion of govern- 
ment, the answer is not surprising. With 
the advent of new tax rates that reduced 
the minimum income taxable and the 
institution of a new withholding system 
for payment of taxes by individuals, tax 
collections increased dramatically dur- 
ing the war. In 1939, Wyoming 
contributed a little more than a million 
dollars to the U.S. tax coffers; in 1945 

that contribution was nearly twenty-nine instances where mortgages proved critical, they 

million dollars. 26 But tax liability, like government actually made expansion necessary. The second 
contracts, was not equitably distributed. In 1939, agricultural revolution was underway. Just like the first 
corporations paid taxes that amounted to eighty-four agricultural revolution during the Civil War, in which 
percent of the amount paid by individuals. In 1945, hand-held tools were replaced by devices pulled by 
corporate taxes amounted to only twelve percent of the horses and mules, this revolution saw the horses and 
taxes paid by individuals. So went the sacrifice for the mules being replaced by tractors and, consequently, the 
war effort. number of farm and ranch laborers declining due to 

If it appeared that the corporations were able to mechanization. A brief look at the photographs of 
benefit more than the average citizen of Wyoming agricultural operations in Wyoming on the eve of 
during the war, that appearance extended into the rural World War II in the Wyoming WPA Guide shows the 
areas of the state as well. Cattle ranching appeared to dominance of horse and mule power. During World 
prosper during the war as cash receipts almost doubled War II the number of tractors— a pretty good index to 
between 1939 and 1945— a welcome relief from the the mechanization of the countryside— increased by 55 
downward pressure on prices during the Depression, percent. 27 Hand labor was being replaced by machines. 
The hard times of the Depression had forced many And it required more acres to justify the machines, 
ranchers into liquidation and the number of ranches Those smaller operations, without resources to 
declined while the average size of the remaining mechanize and unable to gain the additional acreages 
operations increased in the 1930s. The good times of that would make mechanization viable, had to yield to 
the war, however, worked the same effect. A labor the larger holdings. Despite the apparent prosperity in 
shortage and price supports provided an opportunity the countryside during the war, the number of farms 
for substantial ranches to expand, and in some and ranches operating continued to decline during the 


f 030439 



Gasoline Ration Coupons 

Wyoming History Journal 

war just as it had during the depression. And the size of 
the remaining farms and ranches continued to increase. 
The average ranch or farm at the end of the war was 36 
percent larger than it had been at the beginning of the 
war; 28 the smaller operations were being swallowed by 
the large. 

The demise of the small business—in the city and in 
the country— was an altogether frequent occurence 
during the war. Nationally, the trend was clear. 
Between 1940 and 1945 the number of corporations 
filing income tax returns declined by 38.8 million; 
there were more corporations active during the 
depression than there were at the end of the war, despite 
the apparent prosperity. 24 In Wyoming, with its small 
business base, the problem was perhaps best expressed 
in a letter to Governor Lester Hunt from a small shoe 
shop operator quoted by T. A. Larson: 

Now they ration on shoes. I can't get any leather 
to fix the shoes .... I wrote three times to [a leather 
company]. Never got no answer .... I sent for hog 
nails, can't get it, sent for thread for my sticher 
machine can't get it, . . . sent for mine plates, toe 
plates can't get them. Look like to me govnor the big 
fish eat little fish up. I mean the big shoe shops get 
what they want the little shoe shop don't get any. 
Yes I realized it [is] War time. 30 

The big fish ate the little fish and the smaller 
businesses were being swallowed by the large. What 
was true in the countryside, it turns out, was equally 
true in town. 

The pattern was clearly one in which large 
institutions grew larger and the small declined and 
sometimes disappeared. This may be the trend of the 
age, but it is also a trend that holds definite implications 
for the distribution of power in society. Consider, for 
example, the pattern of school organization in the state. 
In a three year period more than 200 rural schools shut 
their doors and their students were sent to the towns to 
get their education. The small schools were closed and 
the large were bursting at the seams with the displaced 
students. The process of education in Cheyenne 
became a public scandal as schools there experienced a 
forty-one percent overload and the crowded students 
were put into deplorable physical settings. Lander had 
to put one class of 30 in the girls' shower room. 31 

Moreover, the towns themselves changed. Towns 
like Baggs, Big Piney, Burns, Byron, Cokeville, 
Cowley, Diamondville, Dubois, Edgerton, Encamp- 
ment, and Hudson lost population in the 1940s; cities 
like Casper, Cheyenne, Cody, Douglas, Green River, 


Laramie, Newcastle, Powell, Rawlins, Riverton, Rock 
Springs, Sheridan, and Worland, significantly 
increased their size in the same period. 12 The forces at 
work in this did not go unrecognized. A Thermopolis 
resident wrote the governor: "Why wouldn't it be 
possible to scatter small factories in these towns like 
Thermopolis and let the people living there work in the 
factories doing their bit to help the war effort and at the 
same time benefiting them by giving them a wage so 
they will be able to pay their taxes and thus keep their 
homes." 3 ; The future was being shaped in a dramatic 
fashion. Consolidation and centralization were the 
forces of tomorrow; but today they were wreaking 
havoc in society. 34 

This was not just a matter of statistics. It was 
substance as well as size. Back to the schools: The 
curriculum changed. Instead of local control of 
schools, the curriculum was revised to conform to 
national standards. Patriotism dominated most school 
subjects as students built model airplanes of military 
aircraft to aid in aircraft identification, as they oriented 
their nutrition programs to meet wartime needs, as they 
compared democracy and totalitarianism in civics and 
social studies, learning that democracy was where the 
people control their society and totalitarianism was 
where individuals are subordinated to the larger 
society. 3 " 1 

By some lights, the pattern of change in Wyoming 
augured well for the future, a future in which the state 
counted for less and less and the national system 
counted for more and more. Yet, the pattern has its 
darker side. During World War II Wyomingites moved 
from the farms and ranches to the towns and from the 
towns to the cities; small schools were closed and 
students went to consolidated schools in town; 
agriculture became mechanized in the same way that 
the army had changed from horses to gasoline engines; 
small farms and ranches declined as big ones 
expanded; individuals increased their portion of the 
total tax bill as corporate taxes declined in their 
proportion; as the competitive market was replaced by 
a controlled market of government and business 
centralization, the least powerful, the individuals who 
saw themselves as part of a proud tradition of 
independent sovereigns, found themselves left out, 
with only the government to protect them; that 
government, however, responded to power, to 
organized power, rather than to need in an inverse 
equation of the social contract, an inversion that 
sounded suspiciously like the relationship between the 
people and the state common to the nations we fought 
in the war. The problem was that the people of 


Wyoming were being f m *^^ m ^ mm 
asked to sacrifice their 
lives in combat; they 
were being asked to 
sacrifice their material 
comforts and hard-earned 
rewards; they were being 
asked to sacrifice priori- 
ties in their personal 
lives, in the purpose of 
their society, and in the 
purpose of their economy 
and government; they 
were being asked to 
sacrifice not just the 
symbols of past tradi- 
tions, but the institutions 
and practices of those 
traditions as well. 

What it came down 
to was that the people of 
Wyoming were being 
asked to sacrifice their 
pride, their independence, 
their values, and their 
birthright. For what? Of 
course the sacrifice was 
for a grand, noble cause: 
saving the world from 
totalitarianism, preserv- 
ing democracy and free- 
dom; protecting societies 
based on the sanctity of 
the individual as determi- 
nant of his or her own 
fate; preserving a society 
where individual fulfill- 
ment is the purpose of the social structure. The irony in 
the effort is clear; the sacrifice was really of 
individuality itself of democracy and freedom, as 
people were being harnessed to a new system. 3 " 

And the sacrifice, in most instances on the home 
front, would hopefully be temporary. Once the war 
came to an end, many anticipated a return to the 
conditions of pre-war Wyoming, minus the depression. 
That would not be the case, however. As it turned out, 
the only areas where serious efforts were made to revert 
to the pre-war situation were in the hostility to U.S. 
citizens of Japanese descent at Heart Mountain when 
Governor Lester Hunt articulated what his predeces- 
sors had also urged: "We do not want a single one of 
these evacuees to remain in Wyoming," and in the 





A K '.'■ 

t r . ■ , . 1 ., 

Reminders like this that Wyoming should be "In Step with 
Wartime Needs " were frequent signs of regimentation that, 
however necessary for victory in the war, also ran counter 
to traditional Wyoming values and institutions that stressed 
independence and individualism. 

Spring 1996 
agreement between the 
Union Pacific Coal 
Company and the 
United Mine Workers 
as they permitted 
women to work above 
ground in the mines: 
"We agree that as soon 
as the War Emergency 
has passed and compe- 
tent men are available 
that the women will be 
replaced by men." 37 
Both these efforts were 

The domestic Le- 
viathan was not other- 
wise, in fact, dismantled. 
To be certain, the gov- 
ernment agencies dur- 
ing the war responsible 
for planning production 
and distribution and set- 
ting prices gradually 
disappeared. That does 
not mean, however, that 
the economy went from 
a planned economy to a 
competitive— supply and 
demand— market. In 
fact, where the economy 
had been planned by the 
business community op- 
erating through govern- 
ment agencies, now busi- 
nesses did the planning 
themselves. 38 The key to 
this was the development of a private technostructure, 
a business bureaucracy that attempted to plan for the 
future. A whole body of literature exists that details, 
and usually praises, the vertical integration, the 
horizontal integration, the marketing and advertising 
developments in the post-war period that enabled 
businesses to operate in and control the environment 
that was marked more and more by its stability rather 
than by its uncertainty and responsiveness to public 
needs and pressures. 39 

Planning has many virtues, including prosperity 
and jobs when it works the way it is supposed to. But 
that planning structure also held a conceptual and real 
weakness: by including a decision-making process that 
was centralized and therefore predictable and 



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Wyoming History Journal 

The war against totalitarian societies raised fundamental questions that students, like these at 
Evans ton, explored in school projects. Those questions also were raised by developments on the 
homefront in which people found themselves losing power to centralized institutions and found 
the individual was being subordinated to the interests of the state, as opposed to the classic 
notion of democracy in which the state is subordinate to the people. (Photo from Wyoming Edu- 
cation News, March, 1942, p. 3) 

manageable, it left out the people; it left out the 
individuals. Indeed, the individual was fading as a 
priority in culture. New pressures toward conformity 
made it increasingly difficult for the individual to find 
her or his own course, for people to achieve satisfaction 
on their own terms. The American people were being 
asked to adapt themselves to their political and 
economic institutions, to accept a standard set of 
middle class values for their own lives. 

The pressures increasingly narrowed the lives of 
the Wyoming people after the war. During the war, E. 
J. Goppert of Cody, state commander of the American 
Legion and commencement speaker at Heart Mountain 
High School's first commencement, according to T. A. 
Larson, argued that "it was not time to criticize 
anything directly connected with the war effort." 40 
Since World War II was replaced with the Cold War, 
that suppression of questioning and criticism 
continued. In 1947 the Board of Trustees for the 


university, guided by Milward Simpson, voted to 
appoint a committee to read social science textbooks at 
UW "to determine if such books are subversive or un- 
American." 41 A chill had set in that made the notorious 
Wyoming winter look balmy. 

The trends of modernity reinforced this nanowing 
of the circumstances of life. Suburbia never really hit 
Wyoming like the Allentowns of Pennsylvania, but the 
contours were similar. Large towns grew and small 
towns declined or disappeared. The larger cities like 
Cheyenne and Casper, did, in fact, develop their own 
suburban subdivisions complete with shopping centers 
and ticky-tacky, look-alike houses. Radio coverage of 
the state expanded after the war so that no part was now 
absent radio reception, and, in fact, television came 
into its own as well. In this way, people who had 
previously found their evening's entertainment 
watching the sunset, talking with neighbors, or 
pursuing the crafts of their parents, now could join the 

rest of the nation and watch "My Little Margie" or "I 
Love Lucy" or the even less stimulating shows that 
collectively portrayed the lives of happily married 
white middle class families who always found the 
right, happy ending to their ephemeral crises, no matter 
how witless and unrealistic their conceptualization. Or 
they could watch the game shows, which, like the 
structure of political economy, were also rigged. What 
television taught was the lesson of World War II: 
personal success can be measured in material terms, 
especially of security and promotion; and don't rock 
the boat, but fit in, go along, and do what society tells 
you you are supposed to do. 42 

This pressure toward conformity and away from 
individuality came from many sources. The pressure to 
sell your personality to the company that employs you 
was scored by critics like C. Wright Mills. 43 The 
impulse of people to reshape themselves to fit the needs 
of organizations, especially those for whom they 
worked, so that they can they have the security of 
feeling like they belong, was identified and attacked by 
conservatives like William H. Whyte. 44 But David 
Riesman perhaps best observed what was going on as 
Wyoming moved from a traditional society to a 
modern society. In the traditional society, Riesman 
observed, the process of child socialization involved 
the internalization of traditional standards, norms, and 
values as the individual acquired an internal compass 
for making decisions. In the modern society, that 
process was altered so that it became a matter of the 
individual sensitizing himself or herself to the 
expectations of others. The sin in the traditional 
society, perhaps like Wyoming in the old days, had 
been to be wrong. In the modern world, however, the 
sin is to be unpopular. 45 

As we reflect on the visage of Wyoming in the 
post-war years, perhaps the most accurate insight was 
that inscribed by a young writer named Jack Kerouac 
who visited Cheyenne during Frontier Days in 1947. 
This is what he saw: 

Big crowds of businessmen, fat businessmen in 
boots and ten-gallon hats, with their hefty wives in 
cowgirl attire, bustled and whoopeed on the wooden 
sidewalks of old Cheyenne; farther down were the long 
stringy boulevard lights of new downtown Cheyenne, 
but the celebration was focusing on Oldtown. Blank 
guns went off. The saloons were crowded to the 
sidewalk. I was amazed and at the same time 1 felt it 
was ridiculous: in my first shot at the West I was seeing 
to what absurd devices it had fallen to keep its proud 
tradition. 46 

Spring 1996 
Kerouac said this not with contempt but with 
sadness. What he was witness to was the narrow ing of 
life in a proud land to its commercial attributes, the 
emptiness and ritualization of lifestyles that once had 
meaning, and the artificiality of reverence to past 
traditions. What he was witness to was the funeral dirge 
for the burying of the soul of Wyoming in a very 
narrow grave. 

An earlier version of this essay was presented at the 
conference, "World War II and Wyoming: A Symposium" on 
November 4, 1995. The conference was sponsored by the 
Wyoming State Historical Society and the Wyoming State 
Museum with partial funding by the Wyoming Council for the 
Humanities. The author would like to thank David Kathka and 
Rick Ewig for their support in the research and conceptualization 
of this essay and their cooperation in the preparation over the last 
several years of an exhibit for the Wyoming State Museum on the 
impact of World War II on Wyoming. He also thanks John Dorst, 
Ann Noble, and Sarah Poole for their responses and willingness to 
discuss various ideas contained in this essay. The Wyoming 
Council for the Humanities assisted indirectly by its continued 
support for the project and research from which this essay 
ultimately originated. Finally, his debt to the careful research on 
Wyoming and World War II by T. A. Larson should be obvious in 
these pages, and that debt is happily acknowledged. 

" "The Dying Cowboy" is a folk song that, like many others 
of its genre, holds many permutations and recorded versions. It 
also includes within it portions of another song, "The Cowboy's 
Lament," which also, for its own part, sometimes appears under 
the title of "The Dying Cowboy." This version is from H. M. 
Belden, ed., Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk- 
Lore Society (n.p. [Columbia, Mo.]: University of Missouri 
Studies, 1940), 390-391. 

3 See, for example, Roger Daniels, Concentration Camps, 
U.S. A: Japanese Americans and World War II (New York: Holt, 
Rinehart and Winston, 1971); Douglas Nelson, Heart Mountain: 
The History of an American Concentration Camp (Madison: State 
Historical Society of Wisconsin for the Department of Histors. 
University of Wisconsin, 1976); Peter M. Wright, "Wyoming and 
the O.P.A.: Postwar Politics of Decontrol, Annals of Wyoming. 52 
(Spring 1980). 25-33; William L. Hewitt, "Mexican Workers in 
Wyoming During World War II: Necessity, Discrimination and 
Protest," Annals of Wyoming, 54 (Fall 1982), 20-33. The popular 
understanding of the war also exhibits, again, depth and 
complexity, is not at all confined to the academic world and may 
even surpass the academic perspective at a number of points. See 
my own experiences with communities in Wyoming discussing 
World War II in Michael Cassity, "History and the Public- 
Purpose, " Journal of American History, 81 (December 1994), 

4 Gerald D. Nash, World War II and the West: Reshaping the 
Economy (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990), xii. 

^ T. A. Larson, Wyoming's War Years: 1 94 1- 1 945 (Laramie: 
The University of Wyoming, by Stanford University Press, 1954). 
Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 15-16, contains a succinct 
discussion of this episode. 


Wyoming History Journal 

7 Sgt. Kenneth A. Crips, "A Short History of the Wyoming 
Army and Air National Guard, 1870-1992" and George N. 
Monsson, "A History of the Wyoming Army National Guard," 
unpublished manuscripts in Historical Research Collections, 
Wyoming Division of Cultural Resources, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

8 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 120. 

9 Richard Polenberg, War and Society: The United States, 
1941-1945 (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1972), 11. 

10 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 118. 
" Polenberg, The War Years, 11-12. 

The scrap drives included everything and anything, 
including fat from game animals, hunting knives, and metal 
recovered from firing ranges at Fort F. E. Warren. Wyoming State 
Tribune, October 6, 1942; Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 94. See 
also the various clippings from newspapers in the War Services 
Programs, Works Projects Administration, files in the Historical 
Research Collections of the Wyoming Division of Cultural 
Resources, Chevenne. 


Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 95-96. 

14 See especially Thurman Arnold's two classic treatises: 
The Folklore of Capitalism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 
1937) and The Symbols of Government (New York: Harcourt, 
Brace & World, Inc., 1935, 1962), and Arnold's autobiography. 
Fair Fights and Foul: A Dissenting Lawyer's Life (New York: 
Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965). 

15 See for example the Associated Press story, with a 
Washington, D.C. dateline, in the Wyoming State Tribune, April 
29, 1942: "A government padlock forged in March will be placed 
May 18 on the price of virtually every article that appears on 
America's daily shopping list and rents in all war-boom towns 
will be battened down for the duration." 

16 In Wyoming the proportions were unclear, but were 
nonetheless quite similar. A report of the Sheridan Press, for June 
13, 1945, indicated that the state had 4700 federal employees as of 
April 1, 1945. This was an increase of 160% over the number of 
federal employees in the state in 1940. Between 1940 and 1950, 
years for which precise statistics are available, the number of 
education employees in the state increased by 29% while the 
number of federal employees increased by 95%. U.S. Bureau of 
the Census, U.S. Census of Population: 1950, Vol. II, 
Characteristics of the Population, Part 50, Wyoming (U.S. 
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C: 1950), p. 101, 
Table 80. 

17 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 126. 

18 See the brief summary of this problem in Barton J. 
Bernstein, "America in War and Peace: The Test of Liberalism," 
in Bernstein, ed.. Towards a New Past: Dissenting Essays in 
American History (New York: Vintage Books, 1967), 291-295. 
The most penetrating analysis, however, is probably that of Bruce 
Catton, The War Lords of Washington (New York: Harcourt 
Brace World, Inc., 1948). 

19 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 120. Another assessment 
of Jeffers' reliability was less benign. Elmer Davis, director of 
the Office of War Information, protested about Jeffers' effort to 
distort information about rubber by killing a story the OWI was 
going to circulate: "Mr. William Jeffers tried to stop me from 
telling the American people facts about rubber which had been 
certified as correct by his own office. So long as 1 am here I 

propose to tell the people the truth as accurately as 1 can ascertain 
it, whether Mr. Jeffers likes it or not." Quoted in John Morton 
Blum, V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During 
World War II (New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1976), 35. 

20 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 118. 
Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 241. 

— This lack of contracts came after initial optimism. In 
November, 1941, the Office of Production Management opened 
an office in Casper because of the protests of businessmen 
throughout the state and the support of Governor Smith for those 
businesses who had been unable to secure defense contracts. The 
press report announcing the imminent opening of the office noted 
that "Establishment of the office will enable small businessmen in 
the state to secure contracts that will keep them in business 
Wyoming Eagle. November 28, 1941. Larson, Wyoming's War 
Years, 247 '. Other clippings from newspapers in the War Services 
Programs, Works Projects Administration, files in the Historical 
Research Collections of the Wyoming Division of Cultural 
Resources, Cheyenne, support this common problem. 

23 The document laden with statistics demonstrating the 
power of the largest businesses and the lack of power of small 
business is Economic Concentration and World War II. Report of 
the Smaller War Plants Corporation to Special Committee to 
Study Problems of American Small Business. U.S. Senate, 
Special Committee to Study Problems of American Small 
Business, 79th Congress, 2d Session, Senate Document 206, 
(1946). This report has been widely reprinted. See, for example, 
the portions printed in Carroll W. Pursell, Jr., ed.. The Military- 
Industrial Complex (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), 151-177. 
The conclusion this committee reached was simple: "It is clear 
that during the war these large companies have come to dominate 
not only American manufacturing but the entire economy as a 
whole." Pursell, The Military-Industrial Complex, 154. 

A survey of the Wyoming economy's productivity in 1942 
did not even mention manufacturing: John C. Thompson, 
"Wyoming's Production for War Totaled 316 Millions in 1942," 
The Denver Post, December 31,1 942, p. 1 1 B; Larson, Wyoming 's 
War Years, 244. 

Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 245. 

26 The actual tax receipts were as follows: 

1939 1945 

individual taxes 613,000 25,603,000 

corporate taxes 516,000 3,200,000. 

This increased taxation, it should be noted, did not reflect 
greater income in the state. T. A. Larson noted that only 
Wyoming and Montana "enjoyed lower relative income growth 
during the war than the U.S. as a whole." Larson, Wyoming 's Way- 
Years, 102, 103. 

27 Ibid, 229. 

28 Ibid, 240. 

U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial times to 1970, 
Bicentennial Edition, Part 2 (Washington, D.C: Government 
Printing Office, 1975), 914. These data indicate that at the depth 
of the Depression, in 1933, the United States had 504,100 
corporations. In 1930 that number had been 518,700. During the 
Depression, the numbers actually climbed, reaching a high of 
533,600 in 1935. With some fluctuation, the country had 509,100 
corporations in 1941. During the war, the number declined 


consistently until a low in 1941 of 446,800 and increased in 1945 
to 454,500. 

Files of Gov. Lester Hunt, American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming; quoted in Larson, Wyoming's War 
Years, 152. 

Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 287. 

- 2 U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population: 
1950. Vol. II, Characteristics of the Population. Part 50, 
Wyoming, p. 9, Table 7. 

Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 251. The national 
observation of one reporter that "There are scarcely a dozen towns 
with a population of 10,000 or more that do not have a military 
installation of some sort" was Iiterallv true in Wyoming. 
Cheyenne and Casper were the only towns, aside from the Heart 
Mountain Relocation Center, with a population more than 10,000. 
Cheyenne had Fort F.E. Warren and Casper had the Casper Army 
Air Base. The quote is from Geoffrey Perrett, Days of Sadness. 
Years of Triumph: The American People 1939-1945 (New York: 
Coward, McCann & Geohegan Inc., 1973), 351. 

34 See also the column. "The Small Towns," in the Sheridan 
Press. November 21, 1941, describing Congressional hearings 
into "complaints that National Defense is stifling the small towns 
'out in the sticks,'" convened in Hastings, Nebraska. The 
conclusion is poignant, given the fate of the small towns during 
the war and afterwards: "... the small town cannot be allowed to 
wither and die. because it must be ready to bear the brunt of the 
burden— as it has in the past— when the post-war workers and 
selectees come marching home again. It then again will become 
the heart of America, as we have always known it." 

^ For examples, see Wyoming Education News, March 
1942. p. 3; December 1942, p. 13. 

lft The "terrible paradox" of sacrifice, such that it is possible 
to earn dignity through self-denial for a worthy cause, whether 
that cause be the well-being and future of one's children or 
country, has been subtly explored by Richard Sennett in Sennett 
and Jonathan Cobb, The Hidden Injuries of Class (New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1973), 122-125. 

' 7 Larson. Wyoming's War Years, 277, 320 

58 Governor Hunt anticipated some of this concentrated 
power in the planning process in his letter of February 1 1, 1946, 
to President Harry Truman urging the President at all costs not to 
yield public control of prices to private interests acting on "purely 
selfish motives" because prices would then rise dramatically and 
"would result in the most vicious inflationary spiral our country 
has ever witnessed and could only end in misery and suffering for 
all." In this Hunt seemed to agree with Chester Bowles' 
assessment as director of the Office of Price Administration, that 
the choice was between maintaining controls for a while to 
prevent monopolies and oligopolies from taking advantage of 
their position and market controls or enforcing the anti-trust laws 
to secure competition to reduce prices. Letter from Hunt to 
Truman. February 11, 1946. Governor Lester C. Hunt files, 
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. In an 
ignominious development associated with the end of rent 
controls, Eva Carey, the widow of Wyoming's only 
Congressional Medal of Honor recipient (Sgt. Charles F. Carey) 

Spring 19Q6 

found herself and her two children on the verge of eviction in 
Cheyenne because she was unable to pay the higher rent upon the 
elimination of controls. Wyoming Eagle. July 3. 10. 1946. 

3g See, in particular, the studies drawn upon by John Kenneth 
Galbraith, most pointedly, in his examination of the planning 
system in Economics and the Public Purpose (Boston: Houghton 
Mifflin Company, 1973). This is more than just theory, though, as 
can be seen in a pamphlet titled "When Johnny Comes Marching 
Home And Hangs his Gun on the Wall . . . ." That pamphlet 
identifies the solution to the economic problem of the postwar 
period as "Business at the grass roots must lead in the transition 
from our wartime economy to a peacetime economy" and offered 
the plan developed by the United States Chamber of Commerce as 
the basic pattern for assuring economic growth— through careful 
planning. That pamphlet is located in the files of Gov. Lester Hunt 
in the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming. 
" Larson. Wyoming's War Years, 95. 

41 William Hewitt, "The University of Wyoming Textbook 
Investigation Controversy, 1947 to 1948 and its Aftermath," 
Annals of Wyoming, 56 (Spring 1984). 22-33. 

" The decline of freedom in post-industrial societv and an 
analysis of the forces that lead to that loss were thoughtfully 
suggested early in World War II by Erich Fromm in his Escape 
from Freedom (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Inc.. 1941 ; 
Avon Book edition, 1965). The critical insight Fromm offered 
was that "The cultural and political crisis of our day is not due to 
the fact that there is too much individualism but that what we 
believe to be individualism has become an emptv shell. The 
victory of freedom is possible only if democracy develops into a 
society in which the individual, his growth and happiness, is the 
aim and purpose of culture, in which life does not need any 
justification in success or anvthing else, and in which the 
individual is not subordinated to or manipulated by any power 
outside of himself, be it the State or the economic machine; 
finally a society in which his conscience and ideals are not the 
internalization of external demands, but are really his and express 
the aims that result from the peculiaritv of his self." (p. 297) 

45 C. Wright Mills. White Collar: The American Middle 
Classes (New York: Oxford University Press. 1951). 

44 William H. Whvte, Jr., The Organization Man (New York: 
Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1956). 

15 David Riesman. in collaboration with Reuel Denney and 
Nathan Glazer, The Lonely Crowd A Study of the changing 
American Character (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950). 

46 Jack Kerouac, On the Road (New York: Viking Press. 1955) 
Sianet Edition, 29. 

The author is the Director of Correspondence 
Study at the University of Wyoming. He received 
his Ph.D. in History in 1973 at the University of 
Missouri. He has authored several books and 
has taught Western and Wyoming history at the 
University of Wyoming. 





^ wing World War II Shoshone and Arapahoe tribal 
members from the Wind River Reservation in Wyo- 
ming participated in the nation's war effort through 
military service, war bond purchases, and civilian de- 
fense labor. Their participation followed similar trends 
set by the mainstream society and larger Native Ameri- 
can tribes such as the Navajo, Cherokee, and Sioux. 
The postwar results for the Shoshone and Arapahoe, 
however, had less dramatic impact on these smaller 
tribes than on the larger tribes. Geographical isolation, 
a lack of media publicity, and fewer educational and 
employment opportunities combined to reinforce pre- 
existing tribal conditions of separatism and insular soli- 
darity. Furthermore, while the wartime experience ef- 
fected little change in the relationship between the tribes 
and mainstream society, the war altered the traditional 
tribal infrastructure.' 

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth cen- 
turies, the Wind River Reservation experienced drastic 
legislative and economic transformations as both whites 
and Native Americans competed for the land and its 
resources. In 1868 the United States Indian Peace Com- 
mission originally established the Wind River Reser- 
vation for the Shoshone tribe. Two years later, in an 
effort to settle Plains Indians while the army subdued 
the more intractable Sioux and Cheyenne, the govern- 
ment arranged for the Shoshone to share this land with 
the Arapahoe, their traditional enemies. Under the Gen- 
eral Allotment Act of 1887. also known as the Dawes 
Act, the Wind River Reservation was allotted into one 
hundred sixty acre homesteads with the surplus land 
held in reserve for purchase, rental and leasing. In 1905 
when Congress authorized the Wind River Reserva- 
tion be opened for white settlement, Wyoming Con- 
gressman Frank Mondell praised the move as vital to 
Wyoming's economic development. A few years later 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs Francis Leupp negoti- 
ated twenty-year leases for white ranchers and busi- 

Using money derived from the sale of surplus lands. 
Congress authorized an irrigation project intended to 

' For a review of Native American contributions in World War II 
see Allison Bernstein, American Indians and World War II 
(Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), and Jere' Franco, 
"Publicity, Persuasion and Propaganda: Stereotyping the Native 
American in World War II," The Military- History of the South- 
west (Vol.22, No.2, Fall, 1992), 173-187. 

Spring 1996 

bring under cultivation forty-five thousand reservation 
acres. Although the government justified this action as 
part of their treaty obligations, white settlers threat- 
ened the water rights of resident Indians by citing the 
doctrine of "beneficial use." In other words, natural 
resources could be preempted by those who could most 
efficiently use these resources. - 

During the 1 930s the tribes began to assume more 
control over their own resources because of two major 
events. First, the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, 
also known as the Wheeler-Howard Act, empowered 
Native American tribes to veto or approve the disposi- 
tion of all tribal assets. Because the Shoshone and 
Arapahoe rejected the provision which stated they could 
draft a tribal constitution, they failed to receive tribal ^* k ^ v » k \* v ■* v ■* 

incorporation and remained under federal supervision. || \*LC^\l\Lf Aff fAnl'D 
This provision enabled the Bureau of Indian Affairs to 
retain control over the sale and lease of tribal lands, a 
decision which had great implications for the next de- 
cade. Although a joint council of Arapahoe and A |\| fj A J^ A J) ALI^iE r\ 'X Ti 
Shoshone members handled all matters other than res- *** '^ /"VlX^XCfXri ^J <-. ri/"W 
ervation land, resources, and law enforcement, in the 
late 1930s the second major event separated the inter- 
ests of the tribes.- 1 

Disenchanted with government promises and ap- 
propriation of tribal funds for such projects as irriga- 
tion, the Shoshone tribe brought suit against the United 
States for ceding half their reservation to the Arapa- 
hoe. In 1939 a favorable judgment rendered the Cll AL TO BOTH AiV\EJ(l~ 
Shoshone tribe four million dollars, another issue which 
would be pertinent during the war years. Furthermore, f »\ pi »\ jM fi \\ [V|ri«\l I ^l-~ 




the Shoshone purchased more acreage from these funds, 
and the Joint Business Council assigned a portion to 
the Arapahoe tribe which they used to establish an in- 
dependent Arapahoe Ranching Operation. Under this 
1940 agreement, the Arapahoe leased the land from 
the Council and paid dividends to enrolled Arapahoe 

- Loretta Fowler, Arapahoe Politics- 185 1-1978 (Lincoln: Uni- 
versity of Nebraska Press, 1982); Frederick Hoxie, A Final Prom- 
ise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians (Lincoln: Univer- 
sity of Nebraska Press, 1984), 157-168, 171 ; Pamphlet "The Wind 
River Reservation: Yesterday and Today" (Washington, D.C.: 
Department of the Interior), 30-3 1 , Collection 3597, Virginia Cole 
Trenholm Papers, Box 3, Folder "Wind River Reservation," 
American Heritage Center, Laramie, Wyoming. 

■* "The Wind River Reservation," Trenholm Papers. 


Wyoming History Journal 
members. This arrangement reinforced the separate 
identities of the tribes and allowed for a certain amount 
of autonomy. 4 

When war was finally declared in 1941, seventy 
years of reservation life had solidified certain trends 
for the Wind River Reservation. Similar to many other 
tribes, the Shoshone and Arapahoe had adopted white- 
enforced institutions for civilian leadership, educational 
methods, and economic livelihood. Furthermore, res- 
ervation life had, to some extent, eroded cultural tradi- 
tions, religious practices, sex roles, and family struc- 
ture. Predictably, the war transformed many of these 
trends. In certain cases, particularly concerning cultural 
traditions, the wartime experience reversed these prac- 
tices, and a cultural revival occurred. In other cases, 
such as the role of women and their relationship to the 
family, a process begun in the 1930s was merely exac- 
erbated by the war. Finally, during the war the govern- 
ment continued their practice of coopting tribal re- 
sources for "beneficial use."-' 

Wyoming Indians shared this transformation pro- 
cess with other state citizens. The Second World War, 
according to one Wyoming historian, "brought greater 
changes to Wyoming than had all the events of the pre- 
vious twenty years." A high military enlistment rate, 
participation in civilian defense and agricultural work, 
and the construction of Casper Army Air Base and a 
Japanese relocation center at Heart Mountain consti- 
tuted much of the state's contribution to the national 
war effort. Fully documented in local newspapers such 
as the Casper Star-Tribune and the Wyoming State 
Tribune, the efforts of Wyoming white citizens were 
praised by local leaders while the contributions of the 
Shoshone and Arapahoe were largely ignored." 

Declared by the federal government in 1 940 to be 
a natural war resource, Native Americans, including 
those at Wind River, experienced Selective Service reg- 
istration two years prior to the national draft. In order 
for tribes to be eligible for military induction, the United 
States granted citizenship twice; first through the 1924 
Snyder Act and reiterated in the 1940 Nationality Act. 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier cooper- 
ated on a nationwide basis with Selective Service offi- 
cials and local draft boards to register reservation Indi- 
ans. By 1942 this cooperation resulted in a registration 
rate estimated by officials to be one hundred percent 
complete. On the Wind River Reservation, a total of 
254 males, aged 21 to 35 years, or 21 percent of the 
population, were registered. 7 

Comparable to their white neighbors, from 1942- 
1945 the Arapahoe and Shoshone sent a total of 130 
males into military service. Representing ten percent 

of their male Indian population and one percent of the 
Wyoming population, this figure becomes even more 
meaningful when considering the national 37 percent 
rejection rate for Native Americans as compared to the 
white rejection rate of 30 percent. Rejections for Na- 
tive Americans primarily occurred for illiteracy, tuber- 
culosis, and trachoma, all common problems on the 
Wind River Reservation. During the war, the Arapa- 
hoe and Shoshone served in white units rather than seg- 
regated American Indian companies. Fighting in both 
the European and Pacific theatres, Wind River males 
experienced wounds, deaths and medals. At least one 
Arapahoe, Donald O'Neal, received a Bronze Star and 
wounds during his participation at Guam. Arapahoe 
Claude Goggles died at Leyte and his tribesman Chester 
Arthur was killed in Belgium. Three other Arapahoe, 
John Brown, William Trosper, and George Antelope 
also died in the war. The Shoshone lost Lee Wadda, 
Richard Pogue, Laverne Wagon and Sydney Bush. 
Arapahoe wounded in Europe included Ralph Plume, 
Robert Bell, Jesse Miller and Jason Rhodes. Frank 
Aragon, Arapahoe, was wounded in the Pacific, and 
Cyrus Roberts, Shoshone, sustained injuries in Italy. ° 
Shoshone and Arapahoe also contributed to agri- 
cultural and civilian defense work as an unknown num- 
ber of tribesmen temporarily left the reservation. From 
1942-1945 nationwide 40,000 Native Americans en- 

4 "The Wind River Reservation," and Pamphlet "Arapahoe 
Ranch Operating Agreement," 1-2, Trenholm Papers, Box 3, 
Folder "Wind River Reservation." 

5 For a review of the effect of World War II on Native Ameri- 
can cultural traditions see Tom Holm, "Fighting the White Man's 
War: The Legacy of American Indians in World War II," Journal 
of Ethnic Studies 9 (Summer, 1981), 69-81. 

T. A. Larson, History of Wyoming (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1978), Chapter 16. 

7 Ickes Order No. 1636, January 14,1942, Record Group 70, 
Entry 12, Box 3819, Folder "War Resources," National Archives, 
Washington, D.C.; "Citizenship Act," United States Statutes at 
Large, 68th Cong, 1st Sess, 253, June 2,1924; "Nationality Act," 
United States Statutes at Large, 76th Cong, 3rd Sess, October 
14,1940; "Estimated Indian Male Population" and "Indian Res- 
ervations," Record Group 147, Entry 1, Box 33, Folder "105.1 
Indians-General, National Archives, Suitland, Maryland. For more 
information on military participation see Jere' Franco, "Bringing 
Them in Alive: Selective Service and Native Americans," The 
Journal of Ethnic Studies (Vol.18, No. 3, Fall, 1990), 1-27. 

° "American Indians Inducted into the Military," Record Group 
147, Entry 1, Box 427, Folder "214. Indian Reservations," Na- 
tional Archives, Suitland, Maryland; "Selective Service in War- 
time, 1941-1942," "Selective Service in Wartime, 1943-1944," 
and "Selective Service and Victory, 1944-1945," (Washington, 
D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1942, 1945, 1948); "Indians 
in the War" (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, No- 
vember, 1945), 11, 24, 41; J.R. McGibony, "Indians and Selec- 
tive Service," Public Health Reports 57 (January 2,1942), 1-7. 


tered the mainstream work force, and among these sev- 
eral Shoshone traveled to Clearfield, Utah to labor at 
the Naval Supply Depot Along with Navajo, Pueblo. 
Apache, Sioux and Ute Indians, the Shoshone, who 
loaded and transported supplies, earned high praise as 
outstanding workers. Although the tribe failed to keep 
accurate statistics of those leaving the reservation, 1945 
school population statistics revealed that out of 764 
school-age children (aged six to eighteen) on the Wind 
River Reservation, a total of 1 18 or 18 percent were 
not enrolled in any public, reservation or mission 
school Given the Indian Bureau's policy of manda- 
tory school attendance for reservation children, this 
large number of unaccounted for children indicates the 
possibility that the parents may have temporarily left 
the reservation for short-term work. 

Obviously, the Wind River population of 1,346 
Arapahoe and 1,35 1 Shoshone played an active role in 
the war. Tribal resources, however, both mineral and 
monetary, captured the government's interest and the 
media's attention. In an unprecedented effort. World 
War II stimulated a search for natural resources both in 
the private sector and on Indian reservations In order 
to facilitate more efficient government access to reser- 
vation resources. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes 
transferred jurisdiction over reservations to Michael 

Wind River Reservation 
1945 School Population Statistics 

Spring 1996 
Strauss, Director of the War Resources Board During 
the war, the Indian Bureau secured 3.500 oil and gas 
leases on Indian reservations involving 1 1.400 oil wells. 
more than 35 tribes, and ten states: 

Highlighting the program on Indian lands was the 
discovery of four new producing fields on the Wind 
River Reservation, Wyoming where production in- 
creased from 615.691 barrels of oil during the calen- 
dar year 1941 to 2.457.251 barrels in die fiscal year 
1945. The most direct Wind River mineral contribu- 
tion to the war was die fuel oil furnished to die Navy 
from die topping plant at Riverton, Wyoming '" 
Second only to the Blackfeet Tribe, which produced 
sixteen percent of Montana's oil. Wind River produced 
two percent of Wyoming oil and retained another two 
percent of state reserves. 

Ironically, the contribution which gained the most 
publicity for the Wind River Reservation resulted from 
the Shoshone lawsuit against the United States Native 
American purchases of war bonds and war stamps as 
well as tribal contributions to Red Cross and scrap metal 
drives particularly intrigued the American public Many 
Indian groups who purchased government bonds from 
tribal assets or personal funds received publicity in lo- 
cal newspapers, the New York Times, magazine articles 
and the Congressional Record. The Shoshone received 

all of this media attention 
when they first began to pur- 
chase war bonds which 
amounted to $16,400 bv 

School Children. 


Public Day School 


Government Day School 


Mission Day School 


Reservation Boarding School 

Non-Reservation Boarding School 


Mission Boarding School 


Special School 






Children, 6-18, not enrolled in school* 


No information available* 




♦Indicates the possibility that parents may have temporarily 
left the reservation for military duty, agricultural or defense 
work. Accounts for 1 18 children or 18 percent of the school- 
age population. 

Department of the Interior 
Pamphlet m. 38. Collection 5889. 
Emmie D. Mygatt Papers. Box 4. 
Folder "Pamphlets." American 
Heritage Center. Laramie. Wyo- 
ming; "Beyond Reservation 
Boundaries: Native American 
Laborers in World War II." Jour- 
nal of the Sourhwest (Vol. 36, 
No. 3. Autumn. 1994). 242-254. 

1 Indian Service Pamphlet III. 
23, Mygatt Papers, Box 4, Folder 
"Pamphlets"; "Oil Reserve on 
Indian Lands." Record Group 70. 
Bureau of Mines. Entry 12. Box 
4465, National Archives, 
Suitland. Maryland; Indian Office 
History, Record Group 48, Entry 
858, Box 7. Folder "Indian Office 
History," 77-78, National Ar- 
chives, Washington, D.C. 


Wyoming History Journal 
June, 1942. In April, 1942 a Lander newspaper reported 
that "Shoshone Indian chieftains. . . had authorized the 
Department of the Interior to purchase a $500 war bond 
for each of the 1 ,000 Shoshones living in the Wind 
River area from funds accruing to the tribe from inter- 
est in oil royalties." Because these oil royalties proved 
insufficient for this purchase, the tribe then requested 
that bonds be bought with the interest from their 1939 
Judgment Fund. After the Indian Bureau explained that 
the Treasury Department already exercised authority 
to invest this interest and the money was unavailable, 
the tribe then tried another method. After a year-long 
negotiation process, on December 8, 1943, an agree- 
ment authorized the Secretary of the Interior to pur- 
chase United States Treasury Bonds, Series E, in the 
amount of five hundred dollars for each member of the 
Shoshone tribe. These funds, derived from the princi- 
pal in the Judgment Fund, directly benefited the state 
of Wyoming as the Secretary of the Treasury received 

To grant permission to the county chairman of 
the war bond purchase program of Fremont County, 
Wyoming, in which county the Shoshone tribe re- 

sides, to include the total amount of bonds purchased 
for the members of said tribe in his quota of war 
bond sales. ' 

At the war's end, it clearly appeared that the 
Shoshone and Arapahoe had interacted with mainstream 
society in ways beneficial to both American and tribal 
interests. Critics of reservation life and Commissioner 
Collier's assimilation on the reservation policy had 
predicted a nationwide exodus from Indian villages and 
a voluntary assimilation into mainstream American 
culture. Instead, in a move directly contradicting the 
Wyoming experience of a postwar population decrease, 
Native Americans returned to their reservations, includ- 
ing Wind River, in increasing numbers. While the post- 
war effects on the Wind River Reservation failed to 
alter the fundamental relationship between the tribes 
and mainstream society, traditional tribal roles, desig- 
nated by sex and age, visibly changed. Male roles tended 

' '"Shoshone Buy War Bonds," New York Times, April 22,1942, 
12:5; Congressional Record, 78 Cong, 1 Sess, 10432, December 
8, 1943; United States Statutes at Large, 78 Cong, 1 Sess, De- 
cember 23,1943, 623. 

Farm Mobilization 
Day Set by F J) Jl. 

The White House disclosed 
Friday that President Roose- 
velt has proclaimed Tuesday, 
Jan. 18, as farm mobllliatlon 
day, when meeting* will he 
held to consider means of 
"insuring for the year IMS 
the maximum production of 
vital foods." 

He called oa farmers, 
w her ever possible, to gather 
that day with department of 
agriculture representatives, 
extension service agents, vo- 
cational teachers, state oAc- 
lals, farm organisations and 
others concerned. 

r reat Reminds Nurte 
?/ Wyoming Wild* 

Nurse Lola Bright of tb« Chl- 

* go Tribune will receive a native 
DK-well and penholder fashioned 
3 R. M. Treatj from a length of 
>lgepole pine, varnished to 
ring out the natural grain. If lea 
I tight apeot her vacation with 
I-.* Treats last lummer. She and 
Irs. Treat were roommates and 
1 > samites and received their R. 
I degrees together. Miss Bright 
,1,1 contact with the editor's sle- 

* -In-law, Iflae Henna Clark, ten- 
ure writer on the* Tribune, and 
b. -7 enjoy talking about trips to 
b<. Lander -valley — e. topic Of 
icon Inte rest. 

miTO nPAifArrPTi 


Fount Slinkard Here 
Home on Furlough 

Every unmarried Arapahoe In- 
dian of the Wind Itlver Indian re- 
servation is In or tried to gut In 
the. armed forces of their coun- 
try — 64 of them with 52 In uni- 
form and two rej-cted for slight 
disability and awaiting the natur- 
al course of the draft. Many of 
them are In comhat zones In the 
thickest of the fight. 

Arapahoe people swell with 
pride In the aacrlflces they have 
made. Parents pruy dally for the 
safety of tbelr boys In service, go- 
ing to the Kplscoi'.U and Catholic 
missions with fervent devotion to 
the Christian religion One fath- 
er whose three sons are In uni- 
form svends much of his time 
alone out-of-doors praying, he 
aaya, praying for the success of 
the Allies and the fre.-dotn of all 

Two Arapahocs are commls- 

Shoshone Indian Boy 
Wounded in Battle 

Bennle Earl Henan, star foot- 
ball and basket ball player on 
last year's FCVHS teams suffered 
wounds In the battle of Guada- 
csnal in the Solomon Islands a 
few weeks ago, his 
parents, Mr. and Mrs. 
Jake Henan of Ft. 
Washakie were noti- 
fied Friday. 

He has been trans- 
ferred to the naval 
hospital at Oakland, 
California. and Is 
satisfactory progress, na- 
gs' offlcan mfliL 

Marine Corps Favorite 
Branch of Service 

atoned officers, Lieut. James 
Washington of Arapahoe and 
Lieut. Arnold Headley of Kthete. 
Chester Smith, Hermit and Gord- 
on Urown are In the Solomons, 
serving in the marines. .This 
type of warfare fits perfectly Into 
the hereditary pattern of the. In- 
diuns and is proving very effect- 
ive In outwitting the strategy of 
the Japs. 

Paul Hanway. a former busi- 
ness council member and whose 
ancestry and name stems from the 
French and related to the Han- 
ways, publishers of the Casper 
Tribune-Herald, has a son Frau- 
ds who recently hid sTBarrowlng 
experience. He balled out for a 
parachute Jump. count««d ten. 
pulled the eord and nothing hap- 
pened. The 'chute did not open 
and be was headed for the deep 
blue ocean like a rocket He Jerk- 
ed the auxiliary for the second 
'chute. It worked, but he was so 

ute. it worgea, out ne was su 
se to the water he hit with one 
fui splash. His broths» Will 1 
l Hanway Is manager W the 

Turkey Price* Pay 
Producers Profit 

Turkey growers of Fremont 
county will realise the highest re- 

Pvt. Fount Slinkard is bom< 
from Cump Carson (Coloradt 
Springs) visiting his parents am 
many friends. The furlough ex 
tends to near Now Years, Jus 
five minutes before midnight an< 
no foolln'. He does the Cook Jol 
and dished out botcakes for 24( 
men with another greenhorn rooli 
he says, one morning. He llkei 
his work better than field, and 
has plenty of eats any time n« 
wants It. 


vn nm/tf tpp iirrri 

These articles appeared in the Wyoming State Journal (Lander), Dec. 24, 1942, p. 1. 


Spring 1996 

to be reinforced and further defined by the experience; out the decades, tribesmen had performed the dance 

on the other hand expanded and, in a trend begun in for both religious and social reasons, but after the war 

the thirties, became more assertive and independent. 1 - tribes incorporated American military traditions into 

Since early reservation days, Arapahoe and the ceremony. "The only difference in form from the 

Shoshone males had continued to practice many tradi- regular Sun Dance," observed anthropologist J. A. Jones 

tions and customs deriving from their Plains experi- in 1955, "is that an American flag is raised each morn- 

ence. Arapahoe and Shoshone tribesmen validated sta- ing and lowered each evening during the Victory Dance, 

tus, historical continuity, and authority through such while no ceremony of this sort occurs in the regular 

ceremonies as the "giveaway," the Sacred Pipe, and Sun Dance." Furthermore, tribal elders preferred par- 

the Sun Dance. On the reservation, however, tribes- ticipants who were young, full-blood, and war veter- 

men endeavored to subsume these traditions under the ans. The significance of the dance increased the status 

appearance of assimilation in order to maintain their of the elders as well. For the Arapahoe after the war 

culture. According to sociologist Loretta Fowler, over "the role of Sun Dance chief formally became one of 

a period of time "customs offensive to white authori- the most important positions in the ceremonial hierar- 

ties were disguised in ways that made those practices chy." Additionally, veterans displayed an eagerness 

appear 'progressive' and therefore acceptable to which challenged the elders' leadership role when they 

whites." World War II offered an ideal opportunity to formed American Legion Posts named after Trosper 

sanction one of the most threatening of Plains Indian Redman at Ethete and Arthur Antelope Brown at Lower 

ceremonies, the Sun Dance. 1 - 1 Arapahoe. Rather than resisting these changes, tribal 

Nationwide the particularly militaristic character elders welcomed the transformations contending that 

of the war contributed to a resurgence of Native Ameri- the formation of 'sodalities" or posts 'worked for the 

can wartime rituals which in turn reinforced the status benefit of the tribe." 1 -"' 

of military men or warriors on the reservations. During Although male status and leadership continued to 
the war, tribes celebrated the military induction of accrue from traditional involvement in military expe- 
young men and women with "Giveaway" ceremonies, rience and political office, female status and leader- 
sent corn for religious ceremonies to soldiers, and wove ship achieved new definition through previously for- 
the names of absent loved ones into blankets. Military bidden pursuits such as political participation and eco- 
men, usually from several different tribes, themselves nomic attainment. These new roles for women signi- 
often performed impromptu war dances for their units, fied a trend introduced in the 1900s by various func- 
counted "coup" on dead enemy, and cut notches on tions of the Indian Bureau and exacerbated by the war- 
their rifles in lieu of adding feathers to a warbonnet. time lack of male supervision. Exhibiting independence 
Although returning Navajo underwent the "Blessing" and assertiveness, however, did not portend a female 
or "Enemy Way" to cleanse themselves of contact with desire to usurp male authority. Instead argued scholar 
the outside world, most tribes preferred to celebrate Michelle De Riso who conducted field work among 
the victory by sending peace pipes to the president or Shoshone women in 1968, "the position of women in 
holding a tribal dance. In Oklahoma the Osage held a contemporary, Shoshone society has been achieved 
Victory Dance and in Arizona the Tohono O'odham through the development of new roles derived from 
held memorial services, but on most reservations the the surrounding white society and not through the as- 
dance most closely associated with American victory sumption of male functions by women." 16 
was the Sun Dance. Practiced by tribes as diverse as 

the Hunkpapa Sioux in South Dakota, and the Shoshone , ^ 

, . , . „,. , r-. • r. ., r. Franco, "Publicity, Persuasion and Propamine!;!." 184. 

and Arapahoe on the Wind River Reservation, the Sun n c , t , „ ,-*■ ■ 

r 1J Fowler, Arapahoe Politics, 4. 

Dance became immediately acceptable to white observ- 14 Ho , m -Fighting the white Man's War," 75; Franco. 'Tub- 
ers for tw'o reasons. First, tribes proved that they highly licity. Persuasion, and Propaganda," 177-180; Henry Dobyns 
valued their returning veterans by giving them marked F'eldnotes, Collection 478-C, October 22,1949. Interview with 
preference in the ceremonies, and second, tribes promi- [ndian f Servi « Employees, Arizona State Museum, Tucson, Ari- 
. ... . . . _ . * , \A zona; James Howard, 'The Dakota Indian Victory Dance; World 

nently displayed the American flag during the dances. 14 War ir Nor{h Dakola History 3M0 

In 1 946 the Wind River Reservation held their first ' 5 ftw ler, Arapahoe Politics, 215, 22 1 ; J. A. Jones, "The Sun 

postwar Sun Dance "in honor of the returning soldiers." Dance of the Northern Ute," Mygatt Papers, Box 4. Folder "Pam- 

The idea quicklv spread to neighboring reservations, P hlets - 

, .• *u 1 1. d *■ »r ^ii ii i j u j Michelle De Riso, "The Changing Role of Shoshone Women 

including the Ute Reservation at Fort Hall. Idaho, and „, t . u • . D . D ,. „ , K „ . nn .- D 

° on the Wind River Reservation, I, Collection 9942, Boris D. 

the Crow Reservation at Fish Lake Valley. Through- shimkin Papers, Box 7, Folder l 


Wyoming History Journal 

Prior to the reservation period, Shoshone females 
followed traditional Plains practices of domestic chores 
and childrearing, leaving economic and political roles 
to males. Only elderly women achieved recognition for 
"crafts, midwifery or shamanism." Although Shoshone 
women possessed no female societies, Arapahoe 
women could claim membership in the Buffalo Lodge. 
The highest attainment available to elderly women de- 
rived from ownership of one of the seven tribal medi- 
cine bags. Renowned for their skill in porcupine-quill 
work and tipi painting, these female priests wove sym- 
bolic designs representing "prayers" on cradle boards, 
robes or tipis. By 1900, however, these traditions dis- 
appeared in the aftermath of the controversy over the 
1 890 resurgence of the Ghost Dance. ' 7 

After the turn of the century, female roles, like male 
authority, began to deteriorate on the reservation. Few 
traditional activities remained. Among both tribes 
women served in auxiliary roles during the Sun Dance 
which resurfaced on reservations in 1923. Furthermore, 
women continued to perform a stabilizing influence on 
tribal mores by acting as official gossips and critics. 
"The elderly women were still effective in deterring 
misconduct," claimed Fowler, "because any man who 
behaved in an unseemly manner could be sure of being 
ridiculed and publicly embanassed by them." 18 

Lacking guidance in this historic vacuum, women 
now turned to white institutions, particularly the In- 
dian Bureau and the church, as outlets for creativity 
and productivity. Sodalities, a white organization cre- 
ated to substitute for tribal lodges, proved quite popu- 
lar. In 1912, among the Arapahoe, St. Stephen's Catho- 
lic Church established the first sodality for both men 
and women. Several other sodalities were formed in 
the 1920s. Female functions included fundraising 
through the sale of quilts and decorating graves on holy 
days. Beginning in 1892, religious activities also af- 
fected Shoshone women as the Fort Washakie Episco- 
pal Church introduced such innovations as a church 
choir, a Women's Guild, and Sunday School, all led 
by women who dominated the church attendance. 
Fundraising again occupied prime importance as 
Shoshone women learned to operate concession stands 
at their annual Sun Dance. These fundraising activities 
provided vital economic lessons for women and con- 
tinued after the war when women formed auxiliaries to 
male veterans organizations. 1 ^ 

The Indian Bureau also encouraged participation 
and achievement for Indian women primarily through 
the extension service. Until 1933, when Depression- 

sponsored jobs such as Works Progress Administra- 
tion provided off-reservation employment, extension 
agents promoted farming and stockraising among the 
Shoshone. Paralleling their religious activities, females 
predominated in the program, winning the most prizes 
and holding the most offices in 4-H Clubs. The exten- 
sion program was discontinued by the Indian Bureau 
after 1933, but Shoshone Suzette Wagon unofficially 
resurrected it during the war. A former 4-H member, 
Wagon began an arts and crafts association to teach 
beadwork and rugmaking to other Shoshone women 
with the purpose of selling their crafts. Wagon suc- 
ceeded in supporting herself with this endeavor until 
1955 when she was hired by the University of Wyo- 
ming Extension Program. -^ 

In the middle of the twentieth century, Arapahoe 
and Shoshone women had clearly advanced in economic 
independence. Drawing on their traditional skills and 
aided by such white-enforced developments as educa- 
tion, extracunicular activities, an improved transpor- 
tation system, and government aid, tribal women clearly 
felt empowered enough to enter yet another realm, that 
of politics. As women became more confident in their 
ability to contribute to the family income, this confi- 
dence translated into a desire and need to assume con- 
trol over tribal decisions which affected their family 
income. From 1 939 to 1 947 Shoshone Maud Clairmont, 
educated at Normal Teachers College, gained a seat on 
the business council. Clairmont represented the 
Shoshone in patent and fee interests, advocated for 
damages from the government in the Tunnison claim 
and in 1947 represented the tribe at a Congressional 
committee hearing. Similarly, Wagon served in the 
Business Council from 1959 to 1963, helping to settle 
lease disputes and plotting tribal assignments for ranch 

Among this generation, however, Arapahoe Nell 
Scott eclipsed all other council members, male and fe- 
male, both for her longevity and her accomplishments. 
Serving from 1937-1964, as both council member and 
chairman, Scott represented a "marginal" Indian, one 
who had been raised and educated in a white commu- 
nity, married a white man, and was unable to speak or 

' ' Fowler, Arapahoe Politics, 45, 112. 

18 Ibid., 155. 

ly DeRiso, "Changing Role," 17-18; Fowler, Arapahoe Poli- 
tics, 163. 

- u De Riso, "Changing Role," 15-16, 29. The author identifies 
these women only with initials. 

21 Ibid., 27-29. 


practice Arapahoe language and customs. Despite this 
marginality, throughout her career she battled to pro- 
tect Indian rights, to improve conditions for children 
and the elderly, and to gain per capita payments for the 
Arapahoes. Finally, in 1954, she successfully halted a 
termination attempt against Wind River Reservation 
by telling congressmen, "We got a lot of old people 

that isn't educated. Why don*t you let it go for 

... ,,22 
awhile. — 

Two events made it possible for these women to 
make inroads into the male-dominated world of poli- 
tics. First, the Depression put enormous pressure on 
males to fulfill their primary function as breadwinner, 
often leaving them little time for their secondary func- 
tion as political leaders. Thus, in the late 1 930s, a small 
wedge opened for women who, trained through church 
sodalities, extension programs, and educational insti- 
tutions to achieve and lead, managed to get three women 
on the business council. 

Second, the war further exacerbated this trend by 
depleting the reservation of educated young men who 
otherwise might have competed for these positions. 
Through the 1940s, the Wind River reservation women 
experienced either first-hand or second-hand much of 
the changes wrought by the war. Furthermore, they 
passed along a raised consciousness and heightened 
sense of expectation to the next generation which mani- 
fested itself in a desire for higher education, a greater 
involvement in tribal affairs, and a willingness to work 
with surrounding communities. Observing many of 
these young women in the 1960s, De Riso concluded 
that "education and capabilities, rather than sex and 
age" had become the criteria for leadership.--' 1 

Thus the war significantly altered the tribal infra- 
structure in several ways. While elderly men welcomed 
the assumption of leadership roles by younger military 

Spring 19Q6 
veterans, males and females more cautiously accepted 
the assumption of leadership roles by women. Further- 
more, the war tended to reinforce separatism and soli- 
darity as witnessed by the segregated military veteran 
organizations and the successful rejection of a Con- 
gressional attempt to terminate the Indians from fed- 
eral guardianship. 

Final ly, population figures from 1945 to 1950 di- 
minished by only 350, hardly the immense reservation 
exodus predicted by Indian Bureau critics. Although 
the Wind River Reservation participated wholeheart- 
edly in the nation's war effort, this effort failed to trans- 
late into a wholehearted acceptance of American soci- 
ety. Nell Scott summed up the disillusionment felt by 
many tribal members when she told a Congressional 
Committee hearing, "Our boys fought for freedom, they 
fought for democracy, and yet when they come home, 
they find their parents starving or half starved."-"* 

The Arapahoe and Shoshone had proved they could 
"20 the distance" and still return home. 

-- Fowler, Arapahoe Politics. 182-185. 210. The Termination 
Acts of the 1950s ended federal guardianship over tribes deter- 
mined to be responsible enough to handle tribal affairs without 
government supervision. Many of these tribes suffered severe fi- 
nancial setbacks because of this policy. 

--"' De Riso, "Changing Role." 35. 

- Fowler, Arapahoe Politics. 204. Population figures fell 
from 2,697 in 1945 to 2.343 in 1950. "Resident Population on 
Indian Reservations 1950" and "Indian Population in Continental 
United States 1945". Mygatt Papers, Box 4, Folder "Pamphlets." 

The author is a lecturer i>i the Department of His- 
tory, University of Texas at El Paso. She earned her 
Ph.D. in History at the University of Arizona in 1990. 
Her dissertation was titled "Patriotism on Trial: 
Native Americans in World War II. " 



(he attack on Pearl Harbor was a defining mo- 
ment in American History. Possibly the single emo- 
tion that best describes how most Americans felt in the 
hours following the bombing of Pearl Harbor was fear, 
but anger soon replaced fear. Japanese Americans could 
only hope that the anger would not be directed toward 
them. In the disquieting days that followed the attack 
on Hawaii, Japanese railroad workers in Wyoming lost 
their jobs. Worried about their future, Japanese parents 
tried to shelter their children from the problems facing 
them; but the tensions following the outbreak of war 

orlil Wi 

and the Japanei 
of Southwest Wy 

' C^'" 




By A. Dudley Gardner 

and then the loss of their jobs could not be hidden. 
Anxiety soon seized their children. What happened in 
the months following the falling bombs affected both 
children and adults and can be best understood through 
the eyes of a child and the actions of their elders. 

For all children there was a sense of not knowing 
what was happening. For some Japanese children, the 
fear became compounded by the knowledge that they 
might have to leave the railroad camps they lived in. 
For other Japanese children, the dread of not knowing 
what they faced if they stayed in Wyoming spawned 
great apprehension. One young girl who experienced 
these emotions lived in Kemmerer. Fortunately, 
Yoshiye Tanaka left a record of how she felt and re- 
acted to the news that Japan had attacked an American 
Island in the Pacific. 

Yoshiye Tanaka's description of how she felt pro- 



pring 1996 

vides a teenager's perspective of the day following Pearl 
Harbor. She writes: 

An event which took place on Sunday, Deccmhcr 
7, 1941 , now referred to as "Pearl I larhor Day," sud- 
denly awakened our family to the realities of war. 
Up to that point. Hitler's and Mussolini's reign of 
terror in Europe all were news items which we dis- 
cussed in our classrooms at school. I recall that in 
1939 while in the sixth grade, we talked about the 
Allied troops invading Germany and from which 
direction the allied troops would accomplish this. 
A red-tagged pin on our map of Europe indicated a 
northerly invasion; a blue-tagged pin a southerly 
invasion; and a white-tagged pin indicated the in- 
vasion would come from the Beaches ofNormandy. 
The reality of it all hit home when on the opposite 
side of the world, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor that 
infamous Sunday morning. I can still recall the words 
of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that follow- 
ing Monday morning, December 8, 1941: War had 
been declared against Japan! 

Three of us girls were still in school; my older 
sister was in the tenth grade; myself in the eighth; 
and my younger sister in the sixth. My two older 
brothers had graduated from kemmerer High School 
in 1939 and in 1940, respectively, and were em- 
ployed. My parents still operated the tailoring es- 
tablishment. We girls were full of apprehension and 
very frightened, too, to go to school that Monday 
morning. Would the kids still like us since we were 
of Japanese extraction? That Sunday evening, we 
all experienced a frightful, sleepless, and worrisome 
time of our lives. It never occurred to us that our 
parents were perhaps even more terrified, since they 
were not citizens of the United States. Asians were 
barred from citizenship, and it was not until the pas- 
sage of the Walter-McCarran Act in 1956 that citi- 
zenship was finally being offered. My two older 
brothers and my father were out rabbit hunting that 
Sunday, quite unaware of the happenings of the day 
on the Hawaiian shores. The remembrance of that 
day is still held in our memories. We do not know 
why, but to this day, the thought of rabbit meat is 
repulsive to us. Were we somehow blaming the poor 
little rabbits for that infamous day, blocking out the 
true reality of that day? 

Monday morning, I recall our superintendent 
of schools calling an assembly of all students from 
the seventh grade through the twelfth grade. Our 
superintendent said that the United States of America 
was finally at war. The word war brought home to 
us all that we were not talking about the people of a 
continent half way around the world. Indeed, we 
were addressing people right here' who were not 
caught up in the war. Our superintendent empha- 

sized that our kemmerer school was made up of 
people from every corner of the earth, and that be- 
cause we were at war with Germany and Italy and 
now Japan, it did not mean that we were at war with 
one another here in Kemmerer, Wyoming; that we 
continue to live and work in harmony with one an- 
other. It was so beautifully said then that these words 
still remain with me.' 

For a 1 3-year old girl named Yoshiye Tanaka, war 
had come to Wyoming. Being in a minority group 
means fearing isolation and rejection not because of 
any personality traits, but because one is different from 
everyone else. The outbreak of World War II clearly 
isolated Japanese Americans. In more ways than one, 
this 13-year-old girl took a heroic step when she left 
her home to go to school on December 8, 1 94 1 . For the 
Japanese living in Wyoming, isolation was com- 
pounded by mixed feelings of loyalty to Japan and to 
the United States, and many did not understand why 
Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. For a 1 3-year-old girl 
walking to school on that Monday morning in 1941, 
the attack meant facing an unknown future in a nation 
that suddenly was at war with her distant relatives in 
Japan. Courage is not measured in men alone, but in a 
lone Japanese female heading toward a classroom where 
she was the only Japanese student. 

Yoshiye and her sister Trudy Tanaka felt them- 
selves to be "strictly Americans," and their allegiance 
was to the United States. They were born here, lived 
here, and were loyal to the United States- For people 
born in Japan who had moved to America to work in 
the western United States and Canada, mixed emotions 
were not uncommon. Some returned to Japan; others 
stayed and were loyal citizens to the United States and 
Canada. Those who chose to stay in western Canada 
or the lower forty-eight states clearly showed the inde- 
pendent minded nature of the Japanese. Some men in 
the United States enlisted in the 442nd while others 
refused to take loyalty oaths. Similar sentiments 
emerged to the north where some Japanese swore alle- 
giance to Canada, while others refused to sever their 
devotion to "The Land of the Rising Sun." 

The onset of World War II greatly affected Japa- 
nese immigrants and their families throughout Canada 
and the United States. Both nations removed people of 
Japanese descent from the Pacific Coast and placed 

' Yoshiye Tanaka. "No Brand Name: Homade." Ms. on tile. 
Western Wyoming College, Department of History, 10-1 1. 

- Personal interview with Trudy Tanaka, Kemmerer, 
Wyoming. November 25. IWI. 


Wyoming History Journal 
them in internment camps in Alberta, Canada, and the 
Intermountain West. It was a time of racial isolation, 
but it was also a period when people like the Tanakas 
continued to work and support the United States through 
their individual efforts. The prejudice fed by the bomb- 
ing of Pearl Harbor was not new. Opposition to Japa- 
nese immigration surfaced soon after their arrival in 
the United States. 

The majority of the Japanese first came to Wyo- 
ming as railroad workers and coal miners around the 
turn of the century. One of the first indications that 
Japanese were living and working in Wyoming is found 
on a tombstone in Rock Springs. While census takers 
apparently overlooked the presence of the Japanese in 
Wyoming in 1890, an unnamed Japanese individual 
died in Rock Springs in 1 890. The tombstone, coupled 
with the fact that Wyoming newspapers began record- 
ing the presence of Japanese immigrants on the West 
Coast and elsewhere, suggests that the Japanese reached 
Wyoming in the last decade of the nineteenth century. 

By 1900, Japanese immigrants were employed in 
Wyoming mines and worked for the railroads. Turn- 
of-the-century Wyoming newspapers describe the Japa- 
nese as both a curiosity and a potential source of trouble. 
This was a view most westerners held towards Chi- 
nese immigrants as well. In the minds of many late 
nineteenth and early twentieth-century Wyoming resi- 
dents, it was hard to separate the two distinctively dif- 
ferent nationalities. Yet Wyoming newspapers did pro- 
vide reports about the Japanese that suggest there was 
an awareness of the distinctive characteristics of the 
people from The Land of the Rising Sun. While the 
reports are mixed, the newspaper writers did not seem 
in favor of Japanese emigrating to the United States. 
The Cheyenne Daily Leader, in terms reflecting its at- 
titude toward immigrants, reported in May, 1900, "Japs 
Cause Trouble." "[T]he installment of Japanese labor- 
ers along the [Union Pacific] line is causing great dis- 
satisfaction." The article contends "the working classes 
depreciate the importation of foreigners who work for 
almost nothing. "3 Two days later the Leader ran an 
article claiming: "No small amount of alarm is experi- 
enced by track men along the line of the Union Pacific 
over the action of that road in importing Japanese la- 
borers for section men, work trains and other lines of 
rough work." 

Along the Oregon Shortline, "an affiliated line of 
the Union Pacific . . .1,000 Japanese laborers" were 
employed. 4 Of those employed, 160 worked in 
Evanston. Fearful of losing their jobs, numerous rail- 
road workers complained about the arrival of Japanese 
workers. "In most places" the Japanese railroad work- 


ers were "displacing] Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes 
at $1.65 per day." While these Scandinavian workers 
were earning little, the Japanese worked for less at only 
$1.15 per day. The Japanese were employed through- 
out southern Wyoming. 5 Some contended that the Japa- 
nese were "paid about one-half as much as white men" 
and labor contractors were paid "a fat commission by 
the railroad company" for obtaining the services of these 
Asian immigrants." 

In spite of protests, the number of Japanese rail- 
road workers and coal miners increased slowly. Many 
in Wyoming began to accept the presence of Japanese 
workers. This acceptance came about, in part, due to 

3 Cheyenne Daily Leader, May 6, 1 900. 

4 Daily Sun Leader, May 8, 1900. 

5 Daily Sun Leader, May 8, 1900, 2. 

6 Daily Sun Leader, May 13, 1900. 

The Japanese in communities throughout southwest Wyof 
came together to celebrate New Years, the Emperors Birt 
Day, and for special events such as the Japanese counsel 

their generous festivals and their work ethic. The festi- 
vals, held on the emperor's birthday, were celebrated 
region-wide. In Kemmerer, Rock Springs, and Oakley, 
the residents enjoyed festivals and free food provided 
by Japanese immigrants. 7 The Kemmerer Camera re- 
ported in 1902 that at Oakley, Japanese coal miners 
celebrated "their emperor's birthday by giving a varied 
program of sports on the company grounds last Sun- 
day. The games were well organized" and "were chiefly 
Japanese such as wrestling in oriental style." The re- 
porter noted "the generous hospitality with which the 
guests were entertained will long be remembered. "^ 

Of course, like many so-called "newcomers," some 
of the Japanese found the weather in Wyoming less 
than favorable and chose to seek employment else- 
where. One section boss near Kemmerer reported his 
entire Japanese section gang had quit on him. Like so 

Hsit to Rock Springs. Such celebrations helped create a 
\ense of community among the Japanese in Wyoming 
'Nakako Collection, Western Wyoming College) 

Spring 1996 
many other workers new to Wyoming, "they said it 
was too cold here and they [were] going to a warmer 
country." 9 

While prejudices were evident and most coal min- 
ing towns forced the Japanese to live in separate com- 
munities, an amazing degree of acceptance by many 
other immigrants living and working in the coal towns 
of Wyoming was evident. Most Japanese workers came 
to Wyoming as contract laborers. Like immigrants from 
other counties, their contract wage was low. Most 
worked in the coal mines. In southwest Wyoming, both 
Kemmerer Coal and Union Pacific Coal Company ac- 
tively recruited Japanese miners. These miners, because 
of their low contract wages, eventually joined labor 
unions. As a result, Japanese miners were more readily 
accepted by other miners. 

In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the 
most powerful corporation in southwestern Wyoming, 
the Union Pacific, began actively recruiting Japanese 
immigrants to work in the company's coal mines and 
on its railroad. This policy, combined with the fact that 
the Union Pacific actively recruited immigrants from 
all over Europe, meant there would be a diverse popu- 
lation in the coal camps of southern Wyoming. In 1 899, 
the number of Japanese the Union Pacific Coal Com- 
pany hired increased dramatically. Soon, other coal 
companies followed Union Pacific's lead and by 1910, 
most large coal camps in southwestern Wyoming had 
sizable Japanese communities. These Asian immigrants 
were forced to live in company-owned housing iso- 
lated along the fringes of coal mining communities. In 
addition to the steady rise in the number of Japanese 
employed in Union Pacific's coal mines, the number 
working as section hands on the railroads also increased. 
Here, in the section camps, the Japanese often found 
themselves isolated from their co-workers in both hous- 
ing and work assignments. In spite of this discrimina- 
tion, Japanese coal miners and railroad workers became 
part of the communities of southwestern Wyoming. 

In the coal and railroad camps throughout the state, 
Japanese men and women dreamed of becoming shop- 
keepers, entrepreneurs, and craftsmen; and while their 
visions of upward mobility often met with resistance 
stemming from prejudice against Asian immigrants, 
many attained their goals. However, the Japanese de- 
sire for opportunity often came up against the stone 
wall of prejudice. The Union Pacific, as the largest em- 
ployer in southwestern Wyoming, did little to lessen 
prejudice. A brief look at the Union Pacific's hiring of 

' Kemmerer Camera, November, 1902. 

° Kemmerer Camera, April 19, 1902. 

' Kemmerer Camera. November 10, 1915. 


Wyoming His lory Journal 

Japanese coal miners is enlightening in regard to how 

this prejudice developed. 

On April 22, 1 899, a newspaper in Rawlins, Wyo- 
ming, ran an article stating: 

The Union Pacific [Coal Company] is now try- 
ing Japanese miners at Rock Springs. If they prove a 
success, several hundred will be employed. The com- 
pany claims it cannot get sufficient employees from 
other nationalities to get out the amount of coal that 
they desire. '0 

Within a year, 259 Japanese lived in the railroad 
and coal camps of Sweetwater County. 1 ' By 1 909, there 
were 436 Japanese immigrants in the county.'- Most 
of the Japanese were initially employed as miners and 
railroad workers, but some later became shopkeepers, 
restaurant owners, professional photographers and art- 
ists. 13 One account illustrates why Japanese immi- 
grants sought jobs in other fields outside the coal mines: 

[My dad] come over to this country about 1906, I 
believe; [he went to] Seattle, Washington. He was 
a cook for a long time. 1 don't know what year he 
come over [to Rock Springs], but he started to 
work in the coal mine. I guess he was a track layer 
and shoveled coal — all inside the mine. Gosh, 1 
think he got buried once. The coal come down and 
sealed it. After that he come out of there and said, 
"No more . . . ." It didn't hurt him, but he was 
buried. It was a kind of spooky experience for him. 
It would be for me too; I'd get out of there. So 
that's why he went into business [for himself]. '"* 

It was in the coal mines, however, that the largest 
numbers of Japanese were employed. Adjacent to the 
larger coal mining towns, such as Superior, Hanna, 
Frontier, and Rock Springs, so-called "Japanese Towns" 
evolved. Segregated Japanese villages appear on nu- 
merous turn-of-the-century mine and railroad maps in- 
dicating widespread segregation. A 1907 map of Su- 
perior in Sweetwater County, for example, shows a 
Japanese community separate from the rest of the min- 
ing camp.^ Photographs and oral histories from this 
period also indicate that separate Japanese communi- 
ties were built in Rock Springs, Hanna, Frontier, and 
Reliance. All of these communities are located in south- 
western Wyoming, but coal camps such as Acme, near 
Sheridan, in northern Wyoming, also had separate Japa- 
nese towns that were purposely constructed away from 
the rest of the mining community. 

At section camps along the Union Pacific main- 
line in southwestern Wyoming, quarters for Japanese 

appear on turn-of-the-century railroad maps. The num- 
ber of people living in these section camps varied be- 
tween eight and fourteen people. By 1900, many sec- 
tion camps were primarily made up of Japanese work- 
ers. The majority of the section camps in Sweetwater 
County consisted of no less than 40 percent Japanese. ' 6 
By 1920, the number of Japanese nationals living in 
southwestern Wyoming began to decline, but the role 
they played in maintaining the railroad remained sig- 
nificant. 17 Several Japanese worked their way up the 
ladder and became section foremen or obtained better 

' u Carbon County Journal, Rawlins, Wyoming, April 22, 1 899, 
3. Union Pacific had a conscious policy of hiring diverse nation- 
alities. Dyer Clark, Union Pacific's principal manager for coal 
operations, wrote to his supervisor in Omaha on August 10, 1900: 
"Every possible care is taken to keep nationalities mixed and not 
allow any nationality to predominate, and no member of a labor 
organization is knowingly employed. If by accident we get one, 
he is dropped on first indication. The organizers who were trying 
to organize the miners at Rock Springs made a failure." D. O. 
Clark to H. G. Burt, August 10, 1900, Nebraska State Museum 
and Archives, Lincoln (UPRR Co. Ms 3761, 5G2, Serial, Box 
128, Folder 337). D. O. Clark had previously written a letter to 
Horace G. Burt, April 26, 1899, claiming, "There are no signs of 
organization [labor unions] among the Rock Springs men and I 
think we can head off any attempt at organization by gradually 
increasing the number of Japanese and [black] miners. Have more 
confidence in the Jap than 1 have in the [Black] men." D. O. Clark 
to H. G. Burt, April 26. 1899, Nebraska State Museum and Ar- 
chives, Lincoln (UPRR Co. Ms 3761, 5G2, Series 1, Box 127, 
Folder 337). 

11 Twelfth Census of the United States 1900, (Washington, 
D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1901). 

' - Census of Wyoming, 1 905, Office of the Secretary of State 
of Wyoming, (Cheyenne. Wyoming, 1905). 

'3 Personal interview with Mike August, Rock Springs, Wyo- 
ming, 1989 (Ms. on file. Archaeological Services of Western 
Wyoming College, Rock Springs). August's family was in part- 
nership w ith two different Japanese men in the photographic busi- 
ness. George Matsura was Charles August's partner until Matsura 
died in 1935. Personal interview with George Okano, Rock 
Springs, Wyoming, 1989 (Ms. on file Archaeological Services of 
Western Wyoming College, Rock Springs). 

'4 Personal interview with George Okano, Rock Springs, Wyo- 
ming, 1984. (Ms on file. Archaeological Services of Western 
Wyoming College, Rock Springs). 

'' Personal interview with Edith Sunada, Green River, Wyo- 
ming, 1986 (Ms. on file. Archaeological Services of Western Wyo- 
ming College, Rock Springs). Personal interviews with Frank 
Demovich, Mike Duzik, Eugene Paoli, Norma Paoli, Antone Pivik, 
and Amy Pivik, Rock Springs, Wyoming, 1984 (Ms. on file. Ar- 
chaeological Services of Western Wyoming College, Rock 
Springs). Union Pacific files, Superior, (Ms. on file. Archaeo- 
logical Services of Western Wyoming College, Rock Springs), 
Boxes 1-5. 

16 Twelfth Census of the United States !900, (Washington, 
D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1922). 

' 7 Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920, (Washington 
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1922). 


jobs as suppliers to the various section camps; while 
others became engine repairman - - a job requiring a 
greater amount of technical skill. 

The period between 1900 and 1940 was marked 
by fluctuations in the number of Japanese living in the 
region. This inconsistency was probably due to the harsh 
physical environment and to changes in the economic 
climate of the area; it does not appear, however, that 
the fluctuations in population were the result of intense 
racial prejudice. For example, from all accounts, the 
Japanese in southwest Wyoming fared better than the 
Chinese who preceded them. While racial prejudice was 
evident, it was of a more subtle variety than the Chi- 
nese experienced in earlier years. Yet, despite a rela- 
tively stable racial environment, the number of Japa- 
nese in Uinta, Lincoln and Sweetwater counties fell 
from the 436 in 1905 to 187 in 1940. 1S 

World War 11 brought increased racial tension for 
the Japanese of the region. Possibly due to the diverse 
ethnic make-up of Rock Springs, where the largest num- 
ber of Japanese lived, the prejudice resulting from the 
Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, while evident, did 
not manifest itself in the extremes that marked other 
parts of the country. Nonetheless, in Rock Springs as 
well as elsewhere in the state, prejudice arose in nu- 
merous ways. 

Immediately alter the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 
the Japanese. Italian, and German "aliens" in Rock 
Springs and the surrounding area were ordered to reg- 
ister with local authorities. The Rock Springs Daily 
Rocket chronicled this registration, concentrating on 
the Japanese population in Sweetwater County.'" 
Among the first to register were the Japanese miners. 
Only four days after Pearl Harbor, the paper reported: 
"( Mfieers said the registration had been orderly and that 
no disturbances had occurred. All Japanese are being 
urged to stay at home and avoid public places as much 
as possible for the present time."- 1 ' Two days later the 
Union Pacific Railroad ordered time-keepers in Rock 
Springs to "freeze all paychecks of Japanese nation- 
als."-' In the weeks between December 7, 1941, and 
February 13, 1942. circumstances seemingly beyond 
anyone's control led to Japanese families being removed 
from their homes along the Union Pacific Railroad. 

Beginning on December 8. Union Pacific officials 
and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents be- 
gan to correspond about the possibility of sabotage 
being initiated by Japanese nationals working for the 
railroad. Not only did the Union Pacific begin to make 
plans to layoff Japanese workers due to this perceived 
threat, but the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific 
railroads also took steps toward tiring their Japanese 

Spring 1996 
employees. On December 10, Colonel W. T. Bals. writ- 
ing from the Seventh Army Corps Area Office in 
Omaha, informed William M. Jeffers, president of the 
Union Pacific Railroad Company, that the compaiu 
should place the Japanese employed by the railroad 
under careful observation and report any suspicious 
individuals to the FBI.-- On February 13. 1942. Jeffers 
sent a letter to J. Edgar Hoover informing him "we are 
removing Japanese from assignments w here they might 
be in a position to cause trouble...."-- 1 Southern Pa- 
cific and Western Pacific railroads soon followed suit. 
In March. 1942. the military issued Public Proclama- 
tion No. 2, prohibiting all Japanese Americans from 
being within the vicinity of bridges, tunnels, and rail- 
road facilities, which effectively prevented an\ reem- 
ployment of Japanese Americans b\ the railroad com- 
panies. -4 The newspapers in southern Wyoming 
chronicled the events leading to the Friday the 1 3th 
removal of the Japanese railroad workers. 

In the railroad towns along the Union Pacific main- 
line, similar articles appeared. For example, headlines 
in the Green River Star for December 12. 1941. read: 
"Japanese Aliens in Sweetwater County Are Ordered 
to Register." Governor Nels H. Smith issued the order 
on Monday, December 8 and b\ Tuesday, in 
Sweetwater County "45 foreign-bom Japanese were 
registered, 37 from the Rock Springs area and eight 
from Green River with two more, one from each com- 
munity being registered Wednesday."-^ The registra- 
tion order "did not affect American-born Japanese who 
automatically are citizens of the United States." The 
order also "directed that migration of such aliens be 
prohibited"meaning "enemy aliens" could not leave 
the communities where they lived.-" By December 19. 
250 "Alien Japanese" had registered in Sweetwater 
County.-' 7 Intriguingly, more Japanese lived in 
Sweetwater County in 1941 than in the entire area in 
1940. In Carbon County, 33 "Alien Japanese" regis- 

ls Sixteenth Census <</ the United States 1940, (Washington. 
D.C.: U.S. Governmenl Punting Office, 1942) 

' t ' Rock Springs Daily Rocket, (Rock Springs. \\ yoming), De- 
cember 10, 1941, 1. 

20 Rock Springs Daily Rocket. December II. 1941, I. 

21 Rock Springs Daily Rocket. December 13. I 94 I . I 

— W.T. Bals to President. Union Pacific Railroad. December 
10. 1941, (Ms on file Western Wyoming College, Japanese in 
World War II file). 

23 W. M. Jeffers to J. t^dgar Hoover. February 13.1942. (Ms 
on file Western Wyoming College, Japanese in World War II 

-^ Los Angeles Daily News. September 3,1995. 

25 Green River Star. December 12,1941. 1. 

26 Green River Star. December 12, 1941. I 
21 Green River Star. December 19,1941. I. 


Wyoming History Journal 
tered. 28 "Out of Wyoming's 23 counties there [were] 
six which had no Alien Japanese...." The registration 
for "each county shows, Laramie, 103; Lincoln, 31; 
Albany, 21; Sheridan, 18; Park, 11; Fremont, 10; Hot 
Springs, 7; Converse, 6; Natrona, 5; Big Horn, 2; and 
one for Campbell, Uinta and Johnson Counties." 29 The 
counties through which the Union Pacific Railroad 
passed contained the greatest number of "Japanese 

In addition to Japanese registration, Italians and 
Germans were soon required to obtain certificates of 
identification. An article in the Rock Springs Daily 
Rocket on February 7, titled "500 Alien Enemies Are 
Expected to Register in Springs Before February 18," 
notified these nationalities that they would have to carry 
identification cards with photographs on them. 30 A later 
article, published February 26, claimed that there were 
not 500 aliens in Sweetwater County; but this article 
was published after the removal of the Japanese from 
their homes along the Union Pacific mainline.^ On 
February 13, "all Japanese nationals employed by the 
Union Pacific Railroad in the area were dismissed."-* 2 

Since the Japanese all lived in housing owned by 
the railroad, termination of their jobs also meant the 
loss of their homes. The removal from their homes came 
on the heels of nearly two months of pressure to do 
something about the Japanese living in southern Wyo- 
ming. Step by step the journey toward removal over- 
took reason until the inevitable point of no return was 

In early January, 1942, German, Italian and Japa- 
nese aliens had been ordered to turn in their radios, 
arms and cameras to peace officers. Of particular con- 
cern were short wave radios. Radios having short wave 
receiving sets had to be turned in unless the short wave 
portion was completely dismantled so that messages 
could not be received. Sweetwater County Sheriff M. 
J. Dankowski also ordered that any alien having am- 
munition or explosives had to surrender them immedi- 
ately. 33 The Denver field offices for the FBI issued 
similar orders to law enforcement agencies throughout 
Wyoming.^ 4 In most cases, Japanese "Enemy Aliens" 
turned in the prohibited items voluntarily. 35 The pri- 
mary concern was sabotage to the mainline, although 
this fear turned out to be unfounded. 

On February 5, a sabotage attempt on the Union 
Pacific mainline came under investigation in Cheyenne. 
The Rock Springs Daily Rocket stated, "Special agents 
investigated tonight an apparent plot to wreck trans- 
continental passenger [trains] operating on Union 
Pacific's mainline between Chicago and California." 
Reportedly, "railroad ... spikes had been removed from 


two sections of the U.P.'s mainline rails" at Archer, 
seven miles east of Cheyenne. "The sabotaged main- 
line tracks ... carry passenger, freight and military traf- 
fic between Chicago and the west coast, [and] were 
discovered by a track walker."36 The very next day, 
Laverne H. Nickodemus, a "26-year-old Union Pacific 
shop worker ... admitted ... a plot to sabotage the 
railroad's mainline" at Archer. His plan was not to hurt 
the "American War Effort" but instead he wanted to 
"get a big reward by pretending to discover the sabo- 
taged rails. ..."37 The Laramie Republican and Boo- 
merang, reported that Nickodemus at first contended 
the spikes had been removed by "mysterious strang- 
ers. "38 in light of the events surrounding the reported 
sabotage attempt at Archer, the letter written by Jeffers 
and dated February 13, is interesting as he contends: 
"We are removing the Japanese from assignments where 
they might be in a position to cause trouble or where 
they might be the victims of sabotage committed by 
others." Jeffers added we are transporting the Japanese 
laborers and their families to "whatever point they care 
to go. "39 Someone had sabotaged the mainline, which 
added one more reason to remove Japanese railroad 

The events surrounding the Japanese removal from 
railroad camps in southwest Wyoming were described 
by the Rock Springs newspapers. In February 1942: 

Japanese nationals . . . were given notice to have 
their belongings and families aboard special cars 
spotted at sections preparatory to being transported 
to either Salt Lake City or Cheyenne. They were 
given three days in which to comply . . The sheriffs 
office reported that no official orders had been re- 
ceived here for removal or evacuation, but it was 
understood that the railroad took the step as a pre- 
cautionary measure. 

It is not known how many Japanese will be af- 
fected by the railroad's action, but it was stated offi- 
cially that Japanese nationals not employed by the 
railroad would not be affected. 4 ^ 

28 The Republican-Bulletin, Rawlins, December 12, 1941, 6. 

29 Green River Star, December 1 9, 1 94 1 , 1 . 

30 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, February 7, 1942, 1. 

31 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, February 26, 1942. 

32 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, February 13, 1942. 

33 Green River Star, January 9, 1942, 1 . 

34 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, January 8, 1 942, 1 . 

35 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, January 10,1942, 1. 

36 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, February 6, 1942, 1. 

37 Rock Springs Daily Rocket, February 7,1942, 1 and 4. 

38 Laramie Republican and Boomerang, February 6,1942, 1. 

39 W.M. Jeffers to J. Edgar Hoover, February 13,1942. 

40 Jeffers to Hoover. 

The railroad laid off not only Japanese nationals 
but also Japanese Americans working for the railroad. 
Only a few key personnel and Japanese coal miners 
working for the Union Pacific railroad remained em- 

In essence, the Japanese working in the coal mines 
were allowed to keep their jobs, but those working for 
the railroad were fired. In the words of George Okano 
a resident of Rock Springs whose family was affected 
by this action: 

My brother was one of them. I was lucky; I was 
at school then. But heck, you come home, and they 
laid off all the citizens, noncitizens, whatever, up 
and down this line .... You were just off the prop- 
erty. You couldn't even be close to the railroad. Then 
the railroad comes right through the city [of Rock 
Springs], and there was people [Japanese], living 
right alongside the railroad tracks in the city. It didn't 
make much sense. 4' 

In retrospect, few steps taken to prevent sabotage 
to the Union Pacific mainline in Wyoming in 1 94 1 and 
1942, "make much sense." 

The firing of Japanese railroad workers without just 
cause came with contradictions and thus makes for one 
of the more intriguing events in Wyoming history. The 
injustice of forcing families out of their home over night 
shows a total lack of regard for the past loyalty the 
Japanese had shown the Union Pacific Railroad Com- 


g L996 

Ota Barbershop, Rock Springs, n.d. 

pany. Many families could not carry away items of 
value because they were too heavy or there was not 
enough time to pack them. Yet acts of kindness were 
extended to Japanese that contradict the cold calculated 
manner in which people were thrown from their homes. 
Kindness came in the form of countless thoughtful ac- 
tions. One example of the contradictory nature of the 
times is seen in the cruelty and kindness extended to 
George Nishi in 1941. He began working in the Bla- 
zon coal mine in Lincoln County in 1932. In 1941 
George Nishi enlisted in the U.S. Army. He recalls: 

"*' Okano interview, 6. 


s gainea wnen tney purcnased the 
their car ami their first child (Courtesy New Studio Rock Springs) 

, amity displays both 


oming Histoiy Journal 

You know I went in the week after Pearl Harbor 
[for a] physical examination [so I could join the 
army]. We took a bus from a store there at the junc- 
tion when you get onto [present] 1-80 [i.e. Granger]. 
So we meet there [at Granger] and we all went to 
Cheyenne. [l]n [the] bus depot they all get off the 
bus [and] me and Tom Nakamara. Soon [the] FBI 
starts picking on me and Nakamara. I had a leader in 
the group. Dale Morrow, he was the leader but he 
wasn't saying nothing. So I told him, why don't you 
tell them I'm with you for the physical examination. 
They trying to catch me. I so ashamed everybody 
watching me. They [the FBI] thought they catch a 
spy. No kidding, I never forget that.... Soon when 
we come back from physical exam, within a few days 
I got notice. So we went troop training. [I went by 
train.] Mainline, train use to go through and pick up 
all soldiers. We had a lot of trouble. Everybody 
drunk, going into service, so they say I'm Japanese. 
I don't have to go. They all drunk was gonna beat 
me up cause I'm Japanese. So Clyde Clark, I went 
in with him [from Kemmerer]: he said don't touch 
George. Said you touch him I touch you. Boy he 
was a big guy. Nice guy too.' 4 - 

Clyde Clark's kindness was remembered by George 
Nishi for nearly 40 years. Scars of malice also remain. 

While Japanese laborers lost their jobs on the rail- 
road they continued to make contributions to the war 
effort by mining coal. Coal mining was designated as a 
critical war industry since coal powered the trains. 
During World War II, the Japanese in southwest Wyo- 
ming contributed to the war effort by mining and pro- 
cessing coal. At the time, coal was the principal fuel 
used to fire Union Pacific's locomotives. The steam 
driven locomotives powered trains that hauled men and 
war materials to the Pacific Coast. Goods carried over 
Union Pacific's rails were needed to fight the war in 
the Pacific Theater. Mixed loyalties were to be expected, 
but Japanese miners, both male and female, worked in 
and around the coal mines to supply fuel for the war 
effort."^ Serving their country by helping to mine coal, 
Japanese women and men, like other coal miners, shared 
in the dangers of producing coal. Some would die work- 
ing for the coal companies. 

According to one Japanese coal miner, the only 
recorded Japanese death in Reliance occurred as a re- 
sult of an accident in the coal industry. Yashio Tabuchi 
recalled that Tom Kawaguchi "got killed in the tipple 
. . . When he fell inside the conveyor, [he went] through 
. . . the crusher. [He was] the only . . . Japanese that got 
killed. "44 Tabuchi's account represents the only Japa- 
nese version of the event that transpired on November 
1 5, 1 945. The tipple was a loading and handling facil- 


ity used to process the coal from the Reliance mines. 
At the time the tipple at Reliance was a fairly modern 
facility and capable of loading five railroad cars at once. 
The official report is a much more sterile account, 
but it does detail the accident. According to the State 
Inspector of Coal Mines, Tom Kawaguchi was a single 
male and was 71 years old when he was killed in the 
Reliance tipple. 

Kawaguchi was employed as a tipple cleaner. 
On the day of the accident he was cleaning the sec- 
ond floor underneath the mixing conveyor. When 
he started to clean under this conveyor, the tipple 
had been stopped about ten minutes. When the tipple 
started up, a Klaxon horn was sounded to notify all 
persons to get into the clear. It seems that he did not 
hear the horn, as he made no attempt to move from 
underneath the conveyor. 

From the position of his broom and shovel, he 
had finished sweeping and raised up when one of 
the flights of the mixing conveyor caught him and 
pulled him onto this conveyor. The conveyor car- 
ried him its full length and dropped him on the six- 
inch loading boom where his body was discovered 
by a tipple operator. 

This Department recommends that all employ- 
ees be instructed to stay away from any machinery 
while in operation. 45 

The official description leaves out several factors 
that provide insights into not only the death of 
Kawaguchi, but also the war-time operation of the 
tipple. The tipple operator at the time of the death was 
a 22-year-old woman who had begun working in the 
facility some time after the outbreak of hostilities with 
Japan. Even though the war with Japan was over when 
the accident occurred, the war-time operations contin- 
ued through November, 1 945. During the war, the tipple 
was staffed by women "boney pickers," some of whom 
were of Japanese descent. The boney pickers were 
people hired to sort through the coal and discard stone 
or other objects that would not burn. 

4- Personal interview with George Nishi, June 1991, Kemmerer 
Wyoming, (Ms. on file. Western Wyoming College Department 
of History), 18-19. 

4 J Personal interviews with Agnes Sunada Tabuchi and Yoshio 
Tabuchi, Reliance, Wyoming, 1986 (Ms. on file. Archaeological 
Services of Western Wyoming College, Rock Springs). Yoshio 
Tabuchi died at the age of 70 on February 7, 1988. "He was born 
February 28, married Agnes Sunada on October 14, 1940, in 
Manila, Utah .... He worked as a coal miner for 22 years." Rock 
Springs Daily Rocket Miner. February 9, 1988, 1 I. 

4 ^Ibid., 16-17. 

45 Wyoming State Coal Miner Inspector 's Report, 1 945, 3 1 . 
(All state coal mine inspector's reports are on tile Wyoming State 
Archives, Cheyenne). 

The woman operator who started the tipple the day 
Kawaguchi died had attained her position of authority 
and her skills as a result of the war. Prior to the war, 
women would not have been employed in a coal mine 
operation regardless of their skills. In the tipple, fe- 
male workers, some Japanese, worked alongside high 
school students. Most of the people working in the 
Reliance Tipple gained employment due to the drain 
on the labor pool created by World War 1 1 .46 In Rock 
Springs the problem was even more acute. Japanese 
railroad workers who had been laid off in 1942 had to 
be replaced. The coal industry was operating at peak 
production levels; therefore, in 1945, the gender, age, 
and racial make-up of the workers in the tipple reflected 
the difficult) in obtaining laborers. While this trend of 
hiring women during World War II has been widely 
documented, the fact that a Japanese national was work- 
ing with female laborers in a tipple that provided fuel 
to the American war transportation network is signifi- 
cant. The death is noteworthy not because it is an iso- 
lated incident, but because it reflects the contributions 
Japanese immigrants made to the American coal in- 
dustry during World War II. 

Many Japanese miners spent the entire war work- 
ing underground. Mr. Kawaguchi was not the only Japa- 
nese worker to lose his life in the Wyoming coal in- 
dustry during the early 1 940s. On December 29, ] 94 1 , 
Sunge Yoshimoto, age nineteen, was killed in the Lin- 
coln- Star Coal Company tipple south of Kemmerer. 
In all, four Japanese workers were injured in Wyoming 
coal mines in 1 94 1 . In spite of dangers inherent to coal 
mining. Japanese miners continued to work below 
ground. Yashio Tabuchi worked in the mines at Reli- 
ance, Wyoming, throughout World War II.""* 7 Takayuki 
Tanaka entered Union Pacific's No. 8 mine in Rock 
Springs before he joined the armed forces in 1944. 
These men all lived in Japanese towns and were part of 
a larger work force that contributed to the growth of 
the Wyoming coal industry during World War 11.48 

At best, life in a company town in Wyoming dur- 
ing the 1930s and early 1940s was not the most desir- 
able. Housing, while providing modest comforts, lacked 
central heating and had been built so quickly that oc- 
cupants complained of snow and dust blown in through 
the sides of structures. From the dust of the mines to 
the dust in the streets, coal towns in southwest Wyo- 
ming are commonly remembered for the brown and 
black film that covered everything from bed clothes to 
cooking utensils. All miners living in company hous- 
ing faced similar conditions. The difference in the case 
of the Japanese quarters was that they were isolated 
and kept at a distance from the rest of the miners' homes. 

Spring lQQt) 
In the wake of World War II, the people living in Japa- 
nese coal camps felt the pressures of isolation and preju- 
dice, but they also shared a sense of having to live 
through the same thing their neighbors did. The loneli- 
ness, bred out of being misunderstood, was a shared 
experience and in the Japanese villages the isolation 
served as a bond. The bond grew stronger as the Japa- 
nese of southern Wyoming shared more and more ex- 
periences. For example, even though Japanese labored 
below ground and sent their sons off to war, neighbors 
outside the "Japanese Towns" often viewed their la- 
bors with suspicion and mistrust. In the end their la- 
bors spoke for themselves. One mythic folk tale about 
the West holds: "Here wejudge you by how you work, 
not by who you are." For a time the Japanese were 
judged by who they were, but slowlj they became ap- 
preciated for what they did and also for their silent 
strength in a sea of adversity. That strength often grew 
stronger in small isolated communities marked by dustv 
streets and houses covered with coal dust. 

The majority of the Japanese miners living in "Japa- 
nese Towns" in places like Reliance were bachelors. 
The families settled in the company-built homes and 
the bachelors often lived in company barracks or at 
boarding houses. Some of the Japanese families took 
in boarders. One Japanese woman took as many as six 
boarders into her home. She raised seven children in 
addition to taking care of her husband and the borders. 
Of course, the home was not large, and meals were 
served at one long table. All of this boarding w as done 
to help make ends meet."*'"' The Japanese communities 
in Superior. Reliance and Rock Springs were made up 
principally of miners and their families. Mam of the 
wives were in the community as a result of arranged 
marriages, and they had little idea of the conditions 
they would face when they arrived in the United States 
from Japan. Numerous women who had left their homes 
without meeting their future husbands faced culture 
shock, isolation and years of hard work.-> u They shared 
the experiences of isolation and hard work w ith the 
women who had emigrated from Europe. The distinc- 
tion was that they were required by coal company policy 
to live in Japanese towns. 

46 Personal interview with William Zelenka, Rock Springs, 
Wyoming. October 10, 1990 (Ms. on tile. Archaeological Ser- 
vices, Western Wyoming College, Rock Springs). 

*' Wyoming State Coal Mine Inspector's Report, 1 44 1. 56. 

"*° Personal interview with Takayuki Tanako, Rock Springs. 
Wyoming, October 10, 1490 (Ms. on file, Archaeological Ser- 
vices. Western Wyoming College, Rock Springs). 

**" Agnes and Yoshio Tabuchi interview, 16-17. 

-O Edith Sunada and George Okano interviews both discuss 
arranged marriages. Sunada describes both her mother's marriage 
and the fact that she refused an arranged marriage. 


Wyoming History Journal 

The Japanese who chose to stay in Rock Springs 
during World War II recorded the fact that they had 
jobs doing something either in the mines or for a fam- 
ily business. One Japanese resident, who was born in 
Rock Springs, when asked what he did for recreation 
during World War II, related that there was little lei- 
sure time; most of the day was filled with work. George 
Okano, who eventually fought with the United States 
Army's famed 442nd in World War II, relates: 

We didn't have too many free days. Any days 
that school was out, by God, guess what? My dad 
had a store, and you had to help. I can remember, I 
was just learning how to drive dad's delivery truck. 
There used to be a big boney pile down here. In there 
would be some coal. So dad said, "I'll let you drive 
that truck, but you go get a load of coal and fill the 
coal shed up; then you can go hunting or driving or 
something like that." That was recreation, but we 
had to get the coal first — a winter supply. 5 * 

Okano sold and delivered food to the coal mining 
towns and to Japanese workers in the section camps. 

The Japanese who lived in the coal camps and in 
the surrounding communities did witness racial preju- 
dice. Most Japanese residents tend to minimize the ra- 
cial tensions, but all of those interviewed about life in 
the area during World War II have stories dealing with 
difficulties and prejudice. George Okano recalls, "As 
far as [prejudice] goes it was good. We were real fortu- 
nate. But there were some animosities." Chinese resi- 
dents in Rock Springs "used to run around saying, 'I'm 
Chinese.' One of them kicked Jeral, my brother, out of 
their restaurant here in town. I never did forgive them. 
I won't eat there even today." 52 Edith Sunada claims, 
"people weren't very kind. In fact, we had one man 
come in one night . . . drunk, and he kicked the door 
down . . . trying to get in; I don't know what he thought 
he was trying to do." 5 ^ Edith and her family remained 
in Green River and Reliance throughout World War II. 
Her brother was fired from the railroad in 1942 with 
the rest of the Japanese workers but took several jobs 
in the area before joining the Army's 442nd. 

Edith Sunada still lives in Green River. Her ac- 
count of her brothers and her attitude toward their war- 
time experience provides insight into her tenacity. 
My brother was very bitter about the whole thing 
because he got more rough treatment than I did. I 
didn't get that much because my brother didn't fight 
back like I did. He just kinda kept still. But like when 
people would say to me, 'Are you a Jap?', I would 
say, 'No, I was bom here in the United States. Why, 
what's it to you? What are you?' I learned to fight 

back. And I would say, 'Are you German?' or some- 
thing like that, so they got so they'd keep still to me. 
My brother kept still because he's one of the quieter 
ones in our family. 5< * 

There was a certain amount of give and take in the 
coal communities of southwestern Wyoming during 
World War II. Many immigrants in the area were from 
Italy and Austria and did not wish to draw attention to 
the fact that their nation was allied with Germany. Ger- 
man immigrants in the coal camps could ill afford to 
draw attention to themselves. 

The Japanese contribution to the economy of south- 
western Wyoming was important. Yet the Japanese 
contributed in other ways, especially in the way that 
they created a sense of community among themselves. 
The fact that many Army 442nd veterans returned to 
live in Rock Springs after the war illustrates the close 
family ties that still existed in spite of the war. 

Today there are still Japanese workers living in 
southwest Wyoming who have long since retired from 
the coal mines and who clearly recall the war years. It 
touched them as it touched all Americans. But their 
memories are couched in the fact that they continued 
to work for their country and served in a critical war 
industry when few recognized or appreciated their ef- 
fort. Like Yoshiye Tanaka who walked to school on 
December 8, 1941, facing an uncertain future, all Japa- 
nese faced the unknown on December 8. The Japanese 
of southwestern Wyoming had to choose how they were 
going to respond to an event beyond their control. The 
response varied. 

In spite of prejudice and uncertainty, Japanese citi- 
zens in southwestern Wyoming overcame distrust and 
intolerance, by continuing to work and live along the 
Union Pacific railroad corridor — and, in the process, 
they contributed to the nation's war effort at home, in 
the mines, and by serving in the military. The courage 
it took to continue to live in isolation and work through 
the false accusations is difficult to measure. What is 
easier to measure is that children, women, and men 
continued to go to school and labor each day in the 
face of overwhelming difficulties and quietly triumphed 
in villages called "Japanese Towns" and in their homes 
scattered throughout southern Wyoming. 

51 Okano interview, 3-5. 
5 ^ Okano interview, 6. 

53 Edith Sunada interview, 26. 

54 Sunada interview, 31. 

The author is Assistant Professor of History and 
Political Science at Western Wyoming College. He is 
a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico. 


Remembering Pearl Harbor 

A Personal Reminiscense By Beryl E. Wauson, Centennial, Wyoming 

These images are now some 55 years old in my 
memory, but the sounds, colors, action of them are a 
vivid today as that morning in December 1941. Our 
daughter, age 1 , had awakened me earlier, but she was 
playing happily in her crib. So rather than disturb my 
sleeping husband, I picked up my book to read a while 
before rising. After all, it was hardly 8 a.m. this De- 
cember Sunday. 

Our Navy housing unit was only a few yards from 
the Honolulu-Pearl Harbor highway, but the weekend 
traffic was light, the morning peaceful and quiet. A 
few moments later, I felt a disquiet, an unusual inter- 
ruption, a series of blasting sounds. 

Were the engineers blasting at Red Hill (the am- 
munition dump under construction nearby) on a week- 
end? And why were the blasts irregular, not the mea- 
sured thump — thump) — thump of the construction? 

From curiosity, I stepped out on our second-floor 
balcony, and my question was in that instant answered; 

my life and my world, as were everyone that morning, 
instantly and violently changed. 

About fifty feet over my head, coming directly at 
me, was a single-engine low-wing plane. 1 could see 
the pilot in the nacelle. And mostly I could see on the 
undersurface of each wing, a huge red sun. He was 
gone in a nano-second, but his image, his helmeted 
head, remain in front of me to now, and will for as 
much longer as I live. I turned and screamed, 'Tom, 
the Japs are here." 

"Oh, come back to bed, it's just exercises," was 
his half-awake response. 

"No! I just saw one!" or some words to that effect 
finally aroused him enough to rise, come out on the 
balcony to see what I was so excited about. 

(Note: now, 55 years later, as I recall and write 
this, my hands shake and I feel the trembling take over 
the pit of my stomach.) 

We looked over to Merry Point, the navy oil dock, 

Attack on Pearl Harbor as seen from Aiea, Dec. 7, 1941. 

Wyoming History Journal 

USS Oglala capsized, USS Shaw burning (right center), USS Helena (left). 
Ford Island in the background. American Heritage Center photograph 

a few blocks from us. Past the warehouses glided a 
low-flying single-engine plane. From the pilot's na- 
celle back trailed a long tail of flame. Tom decided we 
weren't shooting down our own planes: we knew we 
were at war. 

War, or the prospect of war, had been a big topic 
of discussion among our circle of friends for several 
months. The Japanese delegation was in Washington, 
war had been a reality in Europe for over two years 
now. We were creeping closer, we knew, with Lend- 
Lease and other aid to the Allies. 

Tom, who loved to rabble-rouse, took the position 
that we would be at war with Japan, and soon, and that 
they would strike Pearl Harbor. It was good for an 
hour's argument any evening. I am only thankful that 
he didn't have the opportunity to voice these opinions 
where they may have been overheard by "authority • 
His real chagrin was that he didn't believe what he de- 
claimed, and was much taken aback when he was right. 

Back to 8 a.m. Sunday morning. 

"Turn on the radio," he directed me. So I rushed 


downstairs to our one set. The wooden Venetian blinds 
were closed, so it was dark downstairs. I tugged on the 
cord to raise the blind, the resulting sound was rapid 
machine-gun fire. Tom, one leg in and one out of his 
trousers hopped to the head of the stairs, shouting, 
"What was that?" Now we were both excited. 

The two Honolulu radio stations were piping hymns 
for the next ten minutes. Finally a brief announcement 
interrupted, "Something is happening at Pearl Harbor." 

By now all our neighbors were flocking outside. 
The men, dressed in uniform, piled into cars, dashed 
back to their duty stations with hardly a good-bye. We 
had no idea when, or if, we would see them alive again. 

Women and children stood in the streets, watching 
the two levels of attack. High overhead, tight V for- 
mations of perhaps fifteen planes each, droned around 
dropping bombs. The anti-aircraft fire from ships in 
the harbor burst about one-half way to their altitude. 
Wave after wave passed. The low-flying torpedo 
planes, two of which we had seen from the balcony, 
we saw as they banked around after their runs. 

We noticed after one-half hour or so, occasional 
"spurts" of dust in the streets. Someone went over to 
investigate, and found chunks of shrapnel, jagged and 
still warm. This moved us indoors in a hurry. 

As the morning wore on, three huge towers of black 
smoke arose from the harbor. Each was topped by white 
cloud formation, condensation from the heat. The 
smoke ballooned to till the sky to our east. The tight 
formations of high bombers continued, in three lengthy 
waves about one hour apart. 

In the house, I cleared my buffet top and laid out 
all the first-aid supplies 1 could muster. 

Mid-morning, several stake-side trucks raced to- 
ward the navy yard gate, from Honolulu. Each was 
loaded with boxes, about 2x2x6 feet, all standing up- 
right on the bed of each truck. About one hour later, 
those trucks returned toward Honolulu. The boxes were 
now lying flat, stacked four deep, and the trucks were 
not moving so fast. 

"My God," I thought, "Those are bodies." 

I have not yet described the sound. As a constant 
background to all the planes, smoke, A-A gunfire bursts, 
was a din of blasts, sixteen-inch gunfire, roaring en- 
gines, a steady wall of incredible sound that continued 
for at least four hours. I say "at least" because at noon 
a marine shore patrol truck moved through the housing 
area, announcing over loudspeakers that all dependents 
were to be evacuated. We were to assemble in 1 5 min- 
utes with one suitcase apiece, at the bus stop coiners. 

The sound and action was by noon abating. The 
raid seemed to be over. Only the towers of black smoke 
continued to rise, topped by their lovely white clouds. 

My daughter and I. and a suitcase of diapers, 
boarded a bus and were taken to the Army and Navy 

Spring 1996 

"Y" in Honolulu. There, all of us displaced service 
dependents sat and waited, were taken by cab drivers 
offering their services, to local homes opening their 
doors to us. 

Through that long day and night, we waited for the 
invasion which we knew was to follow. That decision 
by Japan's leaders, not to send an invasion force with 
the strike force, had a deciding effect on the war in the 
Pacific. This was all yet to unfold. That day, we 
watched the planes drop bombs, the smoke billow, lis- 
tened to the unbelievable roar of battle, and knew we 
were at war. 

Footnote: Over Easter break last month, my sev- 
enteen-year-old grandson toured to Hawaii with his cho- 
ral group. They visited the USS Arizona Memorial. 
On returning home, Nathan, to whom war is a game on 
Nintendo, said wide-eyed to his mother, "That ship is 
huge," and, "Why did we build a memorial to a de- 

His mother explained, "That memorial is to a loss, 
not a defeat, to the loss of the crew of that ship, who lie 
there in it." 

"Did we defeat Japan? he asked. 

"Yes, we defeated Japan in the war." 

I recommend to anyone who wonders why we 
fought Japan, to go visit the USS Arizona Memorial in 
Pearl Harbor. History, and war, become real there. My 
memory of the USS Arizona, in the months after the 
attack, is of twisted superstructure standing above the 
water of the harbor. I have not seen the memorial built 
there after World War II. But then, the face of that Japa- 
nese pilot, seen for a split instant at 8 a.m. that morn- 
ing in December, is all the reality I ever need to tell me 
why we fought the war in the Pacific. 


Bombs on the Prairie 

By Liz Barritt 

Ken and Toots Adkins were enjoying a quiet after- 
noon together on their ranch in Weston County, Wyo- 
ming, on February 8, 1945. Life was relatively peace- 
ful in the remote reaches of the Wyoming prairie even 
though World War II raged in other parts of the world. 
Ken was getting ready to go outdoors and complete the 
afternoon chores as Toots stepped out the back door to 
check on their little daughter, Linda Lee. Something, 
however, caught her eye in the twilight sky. Calling 
out to Ken, Toots' first impression was of a bright bas- 
ketball as it reflected what was left of the day's sun- 
light. As they watched, it slowly floated down to earth 
and, to their amazement, appeared to be a huge hot air 
balloon. 1 

The family climbed into their pickup truck and 
drove about a mile from their house through their pas- 
ture until they came upon an enormous balloon, skip- 
ping and dragging a metal frame across the sagebrush. 
Ken finally secured a hold on a length of the many 
ropes which dangled from the frame and secured the 
whole thing around some nearby boulders. At the same 
time he shouted to his young wife: "Go call the sher- 

The Adkins had been fortunate that the balloon, 
which measured thirty-three feet in diameter, had pre- 
viously lost it's lethal cargo, one anti-personnel bomb 
and four incendiary bombs. 3 The bombs evidently had 
released prematurely somewhere on their journey from 
Japan across the Pacific Ocean and the western United 
States. Even though World War II was still being 
fought, the Adkins never suspected any war-related 
danger would appear at their ranch in northeastern 

The Japanese, wishing to retaliate for the Doolittle 
raid against Tokyo during April, 1942, had hoped to 
strike directly at the American continent. For two years 
the Japanese experimented with the balloon bombs, 


intending them to travel across the Pacific with the pre- 
vailing winds and then drop on American cities, for- 
ests, and farm and ranch lands. 4 

The Japanese released approximately nine thousand 
balloon bombs, the first on November 3, 1944. 5 It is 
unclear how many reached the United States, estimates 
range between three hundred and one thousand. The 
balloons were found over an area from the Aleutians, 
as far east as Michigan, and reaching south into 
Mexico. ^ Their potential for destruction and fires was 
immense. If the balloon weapons had been further 
exploited by using germ or gas bombs, the results could 
have been disastrous to the American people. 

The Japanese manufactured the balloons from tis- 
sue paper obtained from fibers of the "kozo" bush, a 
member of the mulberry tree family. An adhesive called 
"konnyaku-nori," made from a type of Japanese po- 
tato, was used to join the seams. Large theaters and 
sumo wrestling halls were required for assembly.? 

The balloons crossed the Pacific in approximately 
forty-eight hours. A U.S. Navy patrol craft spotted 
one near San Pedro, California, on November 4, 1 994. 
This was one of the experimental ones. Two weeks 
later a second balloon was salvaged from the ocean. 
Within the next four weeks, balloons were found in 
Wyoming and Montana. 8 This evidence of a new bal- 
loon-borne weapon caused concern and the assistance 
of all national, state, and local government was sum- 
moned. State and national forest rangers were ordered 
to report any balloon landings and recoveries of por- 
tions of balloons or their undercarriages. 9 

After a number of newspapers carried stories about 
sightings of the bombs in Montana and Wyoming, the 
U.S. Office of War Information requested" no public- 
ity about the balloon bombs. 10 The government did 
not want the Japanese to learn of the effectiveness of 
their new weapon. Another reason for the censorship 

was the government's concern regarding the psycho- 
logical response from the American public if they real- 
ized the mainland was under attack.' ' 

The censorship about the balloons ended for edi- 
tors and broadcasters when a tragedy occurred on May 
4, 1945, in Lakeview, Oregon. A balloon bomb ex- 
ploded as it was discovered in a wooded area and took 
the lives of a woman and five children in a Sunday 
School class. ' - The government then undertook a cam- 
paign to warn all persons, particularly children, about 
the dangers of tampering with strange objects found in 
the woods. 1 -'' 

According to government records, 285 reports of 
balloons were recorded from November, 1944, to Au- 
gust, 1945. These included 120 balloon recoveries 
(thirty-two balloon recoveries including bombs), twenty 
balloons downed but not recovered, twenty-eight inde- 
pendent bomb incidents, and eighty-five related inci- 
dents. 14 

Darkness was settling in as the county sheriff and 
his deputy arrived at the Adkins ranch. With Ken's help. 
they managed to puncture the strange fabric of the bal- 
loon. Toots noticed a strange odor as the gas escaped. 
An uneasy feeling crept over her when three men, iden- 
tifying themselves as F.B.I, agents, appeared at their 
home the next day at 5 a.m. At that time Ken and Toots 
were thinking that perhaps the 
incident was connected to the 
war in some way. ' ^ 

After answering many 
questions concerning the size 
of the balloon, where it ap- 
peared, and if there were any 
bombs attached to it, the couple 
led the agents to the balloon. 
They loaded up the balloon, 
ropes, and framework into a 
trailer and traveled about thirty 
miles to the National Guard 
Armory in Newcastle. Upon 
reaching the armory, the agents 
instructed Ken to back his truck 
up to the large door. He helped 
unload the balloon and spread 
it out on the concrete floor. The 
agents then promptly excused 
him. They ignored every ques- 
tion Ken had and told him 
nothing. Not until after the war 
ended did the Adkins learn 
what the object was. 16 

The Japanese balloon 

Balloon bombs 
reported in Wyoming 

1. December 6. 1944, fifteen miles south- 
west of Thermopolis 

2. December 19, 1944, near Manderson 
3 January 28, 1945, near Worland Parts 
found might have come from the balloon 
bomb which fell near Thermopolis in 
December, 1944 

4, February 8, 1945, at Adkins ranch near 

5 February 9, 1945, fragment found near 

6 February 22, 1945, Kirby residents 
watched the balloon hit the ground near 

7. February 22, 1945, two Powell resident! 
reported watching a balloon explode in the 

8 February 22, 1945, residents of Glendo 
watched the balloon land, 

9. March 21, 1945, fragment found near 

10, March 22. 1945, fragment found near 
11 April 6, 1945, Casper 

Spring 1996 
bomb project cost more than two million dollars. Japa- 
nese propaganda reported great results (hundreds killed 
and many fires started), but they abandoned the project 
in the spring of 1945 because of little success and be- 
cause the United States' bombing of Japan had dam- 
aged or destroyed many of the factories and railroads 
needed to construct and launch the balloons. 17 The 
Japanese attempt to create confusion and frighten U.S. 
civilians ended in failure. 

A portion of the balloon which landed on the 
Adkins ranch can now be seen at the Anna Miller Mu- 
seum in Newcastle. Ken and Toots Adkins still live on 
the same ranch and gladly tell the story of the day they 
will never forget when the big balloon came from the 
western sky and skipped lazily down in their own back- 

1 Personal interview with Ken and Toots Adkins. February N. 

2 Ibid 

- 1 For a description of the balloon bombs see Bert Webber, 
Silen! Siege: Japanese Attacks on North America in World War 
//(Fairfield, Washington: Ye Galleon Press,), 249. 

""" T.A. Larson. Wyoming's War Years. 1941-1945, reprint 
edition (Cheyenne: Wyoming Historical Foundation, 1993), 78. 

5 Webber, Silent Siege, 252, 

6 Ibid., 266. 

' For a discussion of the construction of the bombs see 
Webber, Silent Siege, 245-246, 

8 Ibid., p. 266, 

9 Robert C. Mikesh. Japan's World 
War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North 
America," Smithsonian Annals oj 
Flight, Number 9 (Washington. DC: 
National Air and Space Museum. 

'^ Webber, Silent Siege The Northern 
Wyoming Daily News (Worland) 
reported such a sighting in the Decem- 
ber 8, 1944. However, the balloon was 

dentified as a parachute. 

I I 


lz Webber. Silent Siege, 224-233. 

1? Ibid, p. 282. The Western Defense 

Command issued the Japanese Balloon 

Information Bulletin No. I" on May 31, 


14 Mikesh. 

'- 1 Adkins interview. 

'" Atkins interview. 

1 7 Webber, Silent Siege. 255. 

The author, a writer from 
Upton, Wyoming, sen-es on the 
board of the Weston County 
Historical Society. Through her 
business. "Reflections, " she 
records family histories. 


Heart Mountain: 

Remembering the Camp 

By Antonette Chambers Noble 

From the first peoples crossing the Bering Straits 
from Asia, and later from both oceans, America has 
always been a country of immigrants. The immigra- 
tion legacy often is celebrated. Every dinner table across 
the nation, regardless of creed or color, features a tur- 
key dinner in honor of our successful European migra- 
tional heritage. 

America has been less enthusiastic in celebrating 
its Asian migration. Anti-Oriental sentiments have been 
embedded in the social structure of the American West 
from the time the first Asian immigrants arrived in the 
1 800s. Yet, while Asians were not welcomed socially, 
they were welcomed as a hard-laboring class; first to 
build the railroads, and later to farm, mine, or work as 
domestics. They were never welcomed to stay, particu- 
larly during hard economic times when even their la- 
bor was not wanted. The first Asians in the United States 
were denied the benefits of full citizenship. Well into 
the twentieth century Asians and Americans of Asian 
ancestry had been denied the right to vote or to testify 
in court. 1 

In 1 886 the Japanese government allowed its people 
to emigrate for the first time in almost 300 years. Sev- 
eral hundred Japanese men, women, and children be- 
gan arriving in the United States each year. After the 
turn of the century, the number rose to several thou- 
sand a year. By 1910, 72,000 Japanese, mostly men, 
were living in the United States.2 


"Greetings from Heart Mountain," May, 1944. Blake's Studio, Cody 

Again, at first the Japanese were welcomed as a 
laboring class. Gradually, however, fears of economic 
competition resulted in anti-Japanese agitation, as had 
happened with the Chinese in America. Japan's vic- 
tory in the 1 904 war with China and again in the Russo- 
Japanese War of 1905 frightened many Californians 
who feared the Japanese may wage war against the 
United States. The issue came to a head in 1906 when 
the San Francisco school board ordered all Chinese, 
Japanese, and Korean children removed from neigh- 
borhood schools and segregated in special Oriental 
schools. (This order was later lifted at President 
Theodore Roosevelt's urging.) This event led to the 
Gentlemen ' s Agreement of 1 907-08 in which the Japa- 
nese government would limit emigration on its own, 
unless the immigrants had already been in America or 
had relatives in this country. In addition, the Califor- 
nia state legislature in 1913 passed an Alien Land Law. 
Since the Japanese and other Asians in the United States 
were "aliens ineligible for citizenship," they were pro- 

' Roger Daniels, Concentration Camps USA: Japanese 
American and World War II (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & 
Winston, Inc., 1971), 9. 

- Bill Hosokawa, Nisei; The Quiet Americans (Niwot: 
University Press of Colorado, 1992), 59. 

3 Daniels, 15. This is also the topic of Chapter 2 in Daniel S. 
Davis, The Imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World 
War II (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1982). 

hibited from owning agricultural land. Not only had 
the golden door slammed shut; even those who had 
successfully gotten through found stiff discrimination 
against them. 3 

With the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the 
humiliating defeats suffered by the Allies in the Pa- 
cific after Pearl Harbor, an explosive force of hostility 
was released against the people of Japanese ancestry 
living in the United States. Ruth Hashimoto's father, a 
Christian minister in California, held a Thanksgiving 
service on the afternoon of December 7, 1941. In the 
middle of his sermon, FBI agents came banging on all 
the church doors and took away a co-celebrant. 4 The 
minister was in the initial group of American Japanese 
leaders who the FBI illegally rounded up after Pearl 
Harbor was bombed. 

Newspapers fueled the homefront war against the 
Japanese, calling them "mad dogs, yellow vermin, and 
nips." This atmosphere of hatred gave license to ex- 
tremist elements. "California was given by God to a 
white people," the president of the Native Sons and 
Daughters of the Golden West proclaimed, "and with 
God's strength we want to keep it as he gave it to us." 5 

Economic success by the Japanese living in 
America also played a significant role in the disdain 
for them during the heat of World War II. Since Japa- 
nese born in Japan, called Issei, were not eligible for 
citizenship nor could they own land, their naturalized 
born children, called Nisei, owned the family farms. 
These farms were usually very successful. Nisei owned 
farms occupied only one percent of the cultivated land 
in California, yet they produced nearly 40 percent of 
the total California crop. The Grower Shipper Asso- 
ciation admitted wanting to get rid of the American 
Japanese from California to get their rich farmland. The 
American Japanese lacked good political organization, 
and were therefore, unable to counter the attacks made 
against them. The first-generation parents, or the Issei, 
were prevented by law from voting or becoming citi- 
zens, and the great majority of American-born Nisei 
were still in school, making them an easy target. 6 

The anti-Japanese sentiments in this country were, 
of course, greatly accentuated by the reports coming 
back to the country about the war atrocities by the Japa- 
nese. The war caused tremendous fear, and not un- 
founded. The Japanese had bombed Hawaii, and there 
was a great fear that they were coming to bomb the 
West Coast, too. In wartime there is always concern 
for a fifth column threat — when people living within a 
community, upon an enemy invasion, rise up against 
the locals and join the enemy. The media regularly- 
printed articles suggesting that the American Japanese 

Spring 1996 
were fifth column threats. It should be noted that there 
never was a case in which an American Japanese was 
convicted of sabotage. 7 

President Franklin Roosevelt acted against the 
American Japanese. The entire California political es- 
tablishment-including Governor Culbert Olson and 
Attorney General Earl Warren-strongly supported 
evacuating American Japanese from their state. The 
leading military figures — General John DeWitt, Pro- 
vost Marshal General Allen Gullion, Secretary of War 
Henry Stimson, and War Department official John 
McCloy — also wanted the American Japanese removed 
from the West Coast. The only significant hold out 
against the forced removal of American Japanese from 
the West Coast was the nation's attorney general, 
Francis Biddle. New to the cabinet, Biddle's opinion 
held little weight. 8 

When Roosevelt signed his Executive Order 9066 
on February 19, 1942, he accepted the "military neces- 
sity" argument for the forced removal of American Japa- 
nese from the West Coast asking only that Stimson 
and McCloy, the men designated to carry out the evacu- 
ation, be as reasonable and as humane as possible. 
People of all ages with as little as one-eighth Japanese 
ancestry were removed from the designated military 
zones. Since the entire state of California, the western 
half of Washington and Oregon, and the southern part 
of Arizona were all designated as military zones, the 
order affected more than 110,000 American citizens 
and aliens of Japanese descent. 9 

In many cases, the American Japanese were given 
48 hours to pack up their homes and close their busi- 
nesses and go to an unknown location for an indefinite 
period of time. Only allowed to take with them what 
they could carry, the evacuees were forced to leave most 
of their personal and business possessions. Some had 
Caucasian friends who sympathized with their plight 
and offered to store their personal belongings. Those 
less fortunate became victims of greedy Caucasians who 
learned about the evacuation and capitalized on it. They 
offered a few dollars for expensive items. (One internee 

4 Ruth Y. Hashimoto, "Remembering With Gratitude," 
speech, 1989, sent to author. 

5 Doris Kearns Goodwin, No Ordinary Time; Franklin and 
Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (New 
York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), 321. 

" Ibid., 321. See also chapter 2 in Morton Grodzins, 
Americans Betrayed: Politics and the Japanese Evacuation 
(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1949). 

' Michi Weglyn, Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of 
America's Concentration Camps (New York: Morrow Quill 
Paperbacks, 1976) 46. 

° Goodwin, 322. 

" Goodwin, 322. 


Wyoming History Journal 
remembers her father getting $ 1 for a car he saved 
years to purchase. Another remembers getting only $5 
or at most $10 for their major appliances and furni- 
ture). Since the American Japanese could not take it 
with them, they often took the few dollars, so to get 
something, rather than leave it for theft. The govern- 
ment had provided storage units for the evacuees, but 
most were not told about them. The few who did use 
the government's storage returned to discover their 
belongings had been pillaged. Pets were also a prob- 
lem. Some found Caucasian neighbors to keep their 
animals, while others simply had to leave them behind 
to roam the streets. ' 

Nobu Asaki remembers how her family was roused 
from their sleep in the middle of the night by FBI agents 
the evening Pearl Harbor was bombed. They were 
pushed into one room and told that they were sur- 
rounded, so not to try to escape. Their father was taken 
that night and held by immigration officials as part of 
the roundup of Japanese non-citizens. Nobu's mother, 
brothers, and sisters had to prepare for evacuation by 
themselves — without their family head. 1 1 

The evacuees were herded into sixteen hastily pro- 
vided "assembly centers" at racetracks and athletic fields 
along the West Coast while ten permanent centers fur- 
ther inland were being constructed by army engineers. ! 2 
One of these permanent camps was located in Park 
County, Wyoming, between Cody and Powell. 

In fitting with the regulations dictating the loca- 
tion of these camps, the Wyoming site was on federal 
land, at the Heart Mountain Division of the Shoshone 
Project of the Bureau of Reclamation. This was the 
last of the four divisions of the Shoshone Project, and 
the only one not completed due to financial difficulties 
brought on by the Great Depression. The land was 
"useless" until it could be irrigated because it had just 
6 to 8 inches of annual rainfall. The camp was named 
after the imposing land mark northwest of the camp. ! 3 

In the summer of 1 942, some 2,500 workers quickly 
raised 456 banacks, each 20 feet by 100 feet, and vari- 
ous auxiliary buildings to accommodate 1 1 ,000 per- 
sons. The Heart Mountain camp, like all the camps, 
were built by the army and therefore designed like an 
army camp — the major difference being that this camp 
housed families, not soldiers. A few days after the camp 
completion on August 10, 1942, the first internees 
came. 14 For weeks more and more trainloads of Japa- 
nese Americans arrived. Many of them were glad to 
have the long, long train ride over with — it lasted three 
or four days — and they all had the same response upon 
seeing the camp; desolate. They could not believe they 
were being sent there to live. 


Caryn Murdock Bing, a lifelong resident of Sublette 
County, Wyoming, took a teaching job as a young 
single person at the camp. She was asked to go early to 
help set up the camp. One of her most vivid memories 
of the internees arriving were the pots of flowers some 
of the ladies carried with them. She found it ironic, 
that in this dry, cold, desolate country, quiet yet sad 
people exited the trains carrying beautiful blooming 
plants. It was a priority to bring beautiful plants to an 
unknown home. 1 5 

The barracks were divided into family-size apart- 
ments, offering little privacy. Families were forced to 
live in one room, unless there were several members, 
and then they were given only two rooms. The rooms 
were equipped with only a pot bellied stove, an army 
cot, mattress, and blanket for each person, and a single 
drop light. The triangle area above the room partition- 
ing wall and the A-framed roof was open, so all noise 
was heard throughout the banack. Having come from 
warmer climates, these provisions offered little com- 
fort, especially during the fierce winter cold. The bar- 
racks were divided into blocks, with each block having 
a mess hall furnished with long tables and benches. 
Again in army style, there were community toilets and 
bathing facilities offering no privacy and most often 
described by the former internees as humiliating. 

After the army transported the internees to the 
camps, the War Relocation Authority (WRA), an in- 
dependent civilian government agency, took responsi- 
bility for the ten camps. The population at the Heart 
Mountain camp reached 10,872 people in October, 
1942, making it Wyoming's third largest city. Largely 
through the efforts of the internees, the community 
became self sufficient. The camp housed a 1 50-bed hos- 
pital staffed with seven doctors, four dentists, and nu- 
merous nurses and nurses aides. This staff was made 
up of people from the surrounding Wyoming commu- 
nity and the internees. Camp community enterprises 

'0 The author attended two reunions of the former Heart Moun- 
tain internees, held in Seattle, Washington, September 11-13, 
1992, and in San Jose, California, September 9-11, 1994. Gener- 
alizations in internee responses made in this paper come from the 
numerous conversations the author had with former internees at 
these reunions as well as from correspondence received from many 
internees. Generalizations usually are inappropriate to make. The 
author, however, feels comfortable in making them due to the 
consistent responses to her questions from the former internees. 

1 ' Nobu Asaki, in unpublished family history sent to author, 
January 24, 1994. 

1- Davis, The Imprisonment, 56. 

'' T. A. Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 1941-1945 (Chey- 
enne, Wyoming Historical Foundation, 1993) 297. 

14 Ibid, 297. 

'5 Caryn Murdock Bing, interview with author, June 7, 1991. 

made up most of the commercial businesses such as 
the three stores selling dry goods, canned goods, news- 
papers and magazines, toilet articles, ice cream, pop, 
and other items. The profits went to the benefit of the 
residents. There was also a barber shop, radio repair 
shop, telegram service, check cashing service, fish store, 
laundry, and dry cleaning. By 1944 there was mail 
delivery and two movie theaters. Those who did not 
work with the community enterprises were employed 
with camp work in the mess halls, offices, boiler rooms, 
and police and fire departments. A complete school 
system was also organized with a faculty of internees 
and Caucasian teachers. 16 

Caucasians often sought jobs at the camp, desiring 
the higher civil service wage as compared to local 
wages. Yet, the internees were paid only $12, $16, or 
at most $ 1 9 per month, depending upon the work, even 
for professionals such as doctors and teachers. It was 
decided by the administrators of the camps that an in- 
ternee was not to earn more than a soldier in the army. ' 7 

What separated this community from other Wyo- 
ming communities was the barbed wire which encircled 
the camp and the armed guard towers manned with 
military police. When the American Japanese in the 
camps questioned the need for the barbed wire and 
military police, they were told that this was for their 
own protection. This answer did not work for the guns 
were pointed into the camp. 

The government referred to Heart Mountain, 
and the other nine camps, as "Relocation Centers," af- 
ter the initial confinement in "Assembly Centers." 
These terms, of course, are euphemisms. In reality, 
with the barbed wire and the armed guards, these cen- 
ters were concentration camps. The term "concentra- 
tion camps" is often associated with Hitler's camps, 
which were actually "death camps." Though the Japa- 
nese American camps in the United States during World 
War II were nowhere near the horrid German death 
camps, they were, nevertheless, concentration camps. ' ° 

In the adverse conditions of the concentration 
camps the American Japanese created a surprisingly 
"normal" life. Month after month great effort was put 
forth to make their living situation better. Homemade 
furniture was made from scrap lumber left by the con- 
struction contractors. In 1943 a beautification project 
called for the planting of 2,500 trees and shrubs. The 
cover plantings reduced the violence of the sandstorms. 
A big campaign in 1 943 became fly control, which was 
sponsored by the camp newspaper, the Sentinel. A 1 0- 
cent war savings stamp was offered for each one hun- 
dred flies; 104,300 flies were reportedly delivered to 
the newspaper office.' 9 

Spring 1996 
The camp administration, under the direction of 
Guy Robertson, attempted to give as much self-deter- 
mination as possible to the evacuees. Residents chose 
a representative from each of the blocks, who became 
humorously referred to as "blockheads." The represen- 
tatives drafted a charter, and it was ratified by two- 
thirds of the group. It provided for the election of a 
councilman for each of the 20 blocks. They also ap- 
pointed various committees to deal with various camp 
issues. In November, 1943, the council adopted a judi- 
cial system and a criminal code. The committees par- 
ticipated in planning and administration, but the final 
word was always with the WRA officials. -0 

Culturally, the family is very important to Japa- 
nese. As much as possible, parents tried to maintain a 
family life, although this was difficult. As previously- 
mentioned, barrack life offered little privacy. The din- 
ner table, the usual gathering place for families, was 
replaced with the communal dining halls. A good deal 
of effort was put forth to create activities for the chil- 
dren. Schools were immediately organized from pre- 
school through high school. Girl and Boy Scout troops 
were formed, and after school activities organized.- 1 
For the most part parents succeeded in creating a "nor- 
mal" life for their children, as suggested by those chil- 
dren who only realized the severity of their condition 
years later. It had been successfully hidden from them 
by loving parents. 

Agriculture is always important, especially in war 
time when warring countries are desperate for food 
supplies when their farm lands become battle fields 
and their farmers become soldiers. In the United States 
the farm lands were still available, but many of the 
traditional farm workers were serving their country in 
uniform or were earning high wages at military instal- 
lations. This led western fanners and ranchers to pres- 
sure government officials to provide help for them, and 
a logical labor pool was the prisoners in the POW camps 
and the American Japanese camps. When it became 
obvious that the American Japanese were not a threat 
to their country, government leaders responded to the 
farmers and ranchers by allowing the internees to work 

'6 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 301. Velma Berryman 
kessel, R.N. described the camp hospital in her diary kept while 
she was working at the camp. Behind Barbed Wire: Heart Moun- 
tain Relocation Camp (Powell: privately published, n.d.) 

' ' Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 302. 

'° Ellen Levine, A Fence Away From Freedom; Japanese 
Americans and World War II (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 
1995) xi. 

I" Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 301. 

20 Ibid, 299." 

21 Ibid., 303. 


Wyoming Histo 

__ — — 

American Heritage Center 

for them. Working outside of the camp was popular. 
Not only was the opportunity to work appealing, but 
the pay was excellent. Outside a laborer earned 50 to 
60 cents per hour, higher than wages in the camp.22 

The internees also cultivated the fields around the 
camp. As mentioned, the camp was located on an un- 
finished section of the Shoshone Irrigation Project. The 
internees completed the irrigation ditch, making the 
fields around the camp agriculturally productive not 
only for them but for the returning veterans after the 
camp was closed. In addition to 2,762 acres of planted 
crops, the internees raised pork, poultry, and eggs for 
consumption at the center and elsewhere. 23 

Churches were also an important part of camp life. 
Buddhists had the largest congregation and there were 
many Christian denominations. Churches throughout 
the country adopted the American Japanese camps for 
their missionary work during the war. Their help was 
particularly felt during Christmas time when thousands 
of gifts poured into the camp for the children. 24 

Ruth Hashimoto, the mother of two small children 
in the camp, wrote: 

When Christmas 1 942 was drawing near, we par- 
ents were wondering what a sad dreary one it was to 
be for our children in this God-forsaken place. But 
we found we were not forgotten. Boxes upon boxes 
were trucked in from all parts of the United States. 
Inside were handmade mittens, scarves, caps, color- 
ing books, crayons, games and gifts galore. I'll never 
forget the joy that lit up the eyes of the little ones as 
they opened each gift, carrying a note asking us to 


(Above) Homecoming of a 
soldier to his family held in 
Heart Mountain. (Left) USO 
Club, Heart Mountain. Photo 
by Blake 's Studio, Cody 

write. Many friendships resulted as "thank you" notes 
were written to the names and addresses enclosed. 
Gifts had come from churches all over the country. I 
have always hated war and its consequences but never 
the people.25 

Immediately after Pearl Harbor the induction of 
American Japanese was suspended. This proved tem- 
porary for in January, 1943 Secretary of War Stimson 
announced the formation of a volunteer all-Nisei com- 
bat team (the now famous 442nd). Nisei women were 
also invited to join the Women's Army Corps. A year 
later, in January, 1944, the volunteer unit was joined 
with the conscripted soldiers when Selective Service 
was reinstituted for the American Japanese. The Powell 
draft board called Heart Mountain young men. 26 

Public opinion around the country against the 
American Japanese became more favorable during the 
war. This was in part due to the remarkable achieve- 
ments of American Japanese units in the army. The 
442nd combat team was the most decorated unit in the 
U. S. Army. Heart Mountain contributed more than 
900 men to the army, 654 of them inducted directly 
from the camp. Heart Mountain had the only nation- 
ally recognized USO chapter operating within a relo- 

22 Ibid., 302. 

23 Ibid., 302. 

24 Ibid, 303. 

2 $ Letter to author from Ruth Hashimoto. 
2 6 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 316. 

cation center. Twenty Heart Mountain soldiers were 
wartime casualties. 27 

With the re-institution of the draft, some of the in- 
ternees formed the Fair Play Committee which urged 
selectees to ignore their draft notices until their civil 
rights were restored. Sixty-three men refused to report 
for their preinduction physical examinations and said 
they would only when their rights as citizens were re- 
stored. For this action, the 63 were arrested and tried 
before U. S. District Judge T. Blake Kennedy in Chey- 
enne. In June, 1944, the court found them guilty and 
sentenced them to three years in the federal penitentia- 
ries at McNeil Island and Leavenworth. The trial was 
the largest mass trial ever held in the state. The mem- 
bers of the Fair Play Committee and their followers 
were not supported by the majority of the internees. 
The Japanese American Citizens League denounced 
their action as unpatriotic. 28 

What was Wyoming's response to the American 
Japanese evacuated to its state? In May, 1942, Gover- 
nor Nels Smith received notice that the camp was to be 
located in his state and that it was a military necessity. 
Smith's response was that the state would not welcome 
"alien Japanese evacuees from the West Coast" unless 
they were kept under strict federal control, supervision, 
and maintenance, and then removed from the state at 
the end of the emergency. (He failed to mention that 
two-thirds of the Heart Mountain internees were Ameri- 
can citizens.) Governor Smith took pride in his han- 
dling of evacuees. In the 1942 re-election campaign he 
advertised that he had prevented Japanese evacuees 
from becoming residents. 29 The internees were also 
barred by the Wyoming State Legislature from obtain- 

Spring 1996 
ing fishing and hunting licenses. This bill was origi- 
nally declared a conservation measure, and later re- 
moved from the books. 30 

Individual responses from Wyoming residents ran 
the gamut from those who supported the evacuees and 
sympathized with their plight, to those who displayed 
outward hatred. The majority, though, accepted the 
statement that "A Jap was a Jap," failing to distinguish 
between loyal U.S. citizens and the Japanese at war 
with the United States. A frequent sign found in Cody 
store windows read "No Japs Allowed," restricting in- 
ternees with day passes from patronizing their busi- 
nesses. Though less frequently, the signs could also be 
found in Powell. Powell and Cody town councils passed 
resolutions on April 24, 1943, stating that Japanese 
Americans were not welcome and requested that visits 
from the evacuees to their towns be kept to a minimum 
except for agricultural work. Some merchants, how- 
ever, were not pleased with the resolution, appreciat- 
ing the business the evacuees gave them. 3 ! 

The West Coast was reopened to people of Japa- 
nese ancestry on January 2, 1945, and the camps were 
closed by the end of 1 945. Internees in Wyoming were 
told they were not welcome to stay. Powell War Dads 
initiated a petition to relocate the internees away from 
the state. Park County residents' fears of some staying 

27 Ibid, 315. 

28 Ibid., 316. 

29 Ibid., 306. 

30 Douglas W. Nelson, Heart Mountain: The History of an 
American Concentration Camp (Madison, University of 
Wisconsin, 1976), 159. 

31 Ibid... 72. 

Author's collection 

American Heritage Center 

(Left) "Hitler, the snowman" (Above) Funeral of a Nisei serviceman, 
Heart Mountain. Photo by Blake 's Studio, Cody 


Wyoming History Journal 

were groundless — no one had indicated any interest in 

staying. 32 

Previous to the camp closure some evacuees had 
left to attend school, usually in the Midwest. Others 
had left to take war jobs. These opportunities depended 
on the individual's connections, for an evacuee could 
leave camp only if he or she had a sponsor. Given that 
most of the American Japanese population prior to the 
war was on the west coast, few had family inland. 
Churches were valuable supports for young internees 
by offering to sponsor them and, thus, provide educa- 
tional opportunities away from camp. 33 

The majority of internees were still in camp, though, 
at war's end, for there was no where for them to go. 
They had lost everything they had when they were 
evacuated. They had no home — no business — to re- 
turn to. With the camp closure, everyone had to leave. 
Most returned to the only life they knew on the west 
coast and began life again. To support his family, the 
only work Bacon Sakatani's father was able to find 
after the camp closed was working for a farmer in Idaho. 
The farmer, however, did not have housing for the fam- 
ily. Sakatani used all the money he had to buy an army 
surplus tent, and this was the family's first home after 
camp. The farmer allowed him to pitch the tent on his 
land, but only let them use water from the same ditch 
the animals used. 34 

The impact of the Heart Mountain camp on Wyo- 
ming is surprisingly minimal, given the numbers and 
the talent of the internees. Many people in Wyoming 
during and after the war were unaware of the camp's 
existence. The internees did, however, finish the last 
section of the Shoshone canal which provided irrigated 
farming land to veterans returning from the war. They 
also contributed to agricultural production during the 
war, either on their own farm or assisting area farms 
and ranches. 

One internee, though, was later glad that his tal- 
ents were not used by his country. Kaoru lnouye was 
working as a chemist in California when he was evacu- 
ated and sent to Heart Mountain. He said that, years 
later, in 1950, he visited his professor at Berkeley who 
had worked with the government on the Manhattan 
Project. lnouye was told that the former teacher and 
the government had been looking for him during the 
war for his assistance with the atomic bomb. Accord- 
ing to lnouye, the professor, as well as many of the 
Manhattan Project team, died young, victims of radia- 
tion. "I'm glad that I wasn't able to help them out in 
any way," lnouye said. At Heart Mountain, he taught 
chemistry at the high school. Later, he had a successful 
career as a chemist.35 

The Heart Mountain camp needs to be remembered 
as an important and sad part of Wyoming and United 
States history. It is obvious that the internment of more 
than 110,000 people because of their ancestry alone 
was a gross violation of the Constitution. It happened 
because it was war time, and other Americans were 
scared. Perhaps the biggest fear, though, is how easily 
this internment happened. Attempts to declare this act 
unconstitutional during the war failed, all the way to 
the U.S. Supreme Court.36 In the 1970s, the incarcera- 
tion of the American Japanese during World War II 
was declared a terrible national mistake. Finally, Con- 
gress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1 988 which was 
a public apology to the internees and offered $20,000 
to every internee in partial reparation. 37 An important 
person in Congress fighting for the redress and repara- 
tions was Norman Mineta who served his country in 
the United States House of Representatives for twenty- 
one years. Mineta lived at Heart Mountain as a young 
boy with his family. He served in Congress with 
Wyoming's Senator Alan Simpson. The two first met 
at a Boy Scout Jamboree in Park County where Mineta 
was representing the Heart Mountain troop and Simpson 
was with his Cody troop. 38 

When former internees were asked about how they 
felt about reparations, responses are mixed. Some feel 
the money can not erase the pain from years of being 
locked up behind barbed wire in Wyoming. Others felt 
it helped some. A unanimous comment however, is "It 
came too late. It didn't come in time to help the lssei — 
our parents, they were the ones who lost everything, 
and needed it the most to get our lives rebuilt." 

32 Larson, Wyoming's War Years, 314. 

33 Wegiyn, Years of Infamy, 105. 

34 Bacon Sakatani, interview with author, September 19, 

35 Kaoru lnouye, interview with author, September 11, 1992. 

36 The legal battle over the forced evacuation and imprison- 
ment of American Japanese during World War II is the topic of 
Peter Irons, Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese Ameri- 
can Internment Cases (Berkeley, University of California Press, 

37 Roger Daniels, Sandra C. Taylor, and Harry H. L. Kitano, 
(eds.), Japanese Americans from Relocation to Redress 
(Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1986) 44. This 
historic event is the subject of William Minoru Hohri, Repair- 
ing America (Pullman, Washington State University Press, 

38 Norman Y. Mineta, interview with author, September 8, 1994. 

The author received her M. A. in history from the 
University of Utah in 1 985. She has written a num- 
ber of articles about Utah during World War II and 
was a contributing editor to Utah Remembers World 
War II. She lives in Sublette County, Wyoming. 


pring 1QQ6 

World War II Information ibm the 
Hebard Collectioim, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert, University of Wyoming Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming Collection is a 
branch of the University of Wyoming Libraries. It is housed 
in the Owen Wister Western Writers Reading Room in the 
American Heritage Center. Primarily a research collec- 
tion, the core of this collection is Miss Hebard's personal 
library which was donated to the university libraries. Fur- 
ther donations have been significant in the development of 
this collection. While it is easy to identify materials about 
Wyoming published by nationally known publishers, it can 
be difficult to locate pertinent publications printed in Wyo- 
ming. The Hebard collection is considered to be the most 
comprehensive collection on Wyoming in the state. 

Additional Wyoming materials may be found in the 
circulating collections of the university libraries. Science, 
Geology, LRC, as well as in the Historic Maps Collection 
and U.S. Government Documents collections in Coe Li- 
brary. All materials can be identified through the CARL' 
UW on-line catalog. 

For the premiere of this column, I identified materials 
related to World War II in Wyoming. I have identified 
publications in the Government Documents collection, the 
circulating collection in Coe, and in the Hebard collection. 
If you have any questions about these materials or the 
Hebard collection, you can contact me by phone at 307- 
766-6245; by email, thert(2) or you can access the 
Hebard HomePage at the URL: 

General World War II Publications 

Agricultural Extension Wartime Activities. Laramie: Agricul- 
tural Extension Service. University of Wyoming, 1942. 

Pamphlet describing the responsibilities of Extension to 
"carry forward all phases of agriculture's wartime program." 
Discusses areas of interest from livestock to home water systems 
to 4-H Club work. 

Allen, Mary Moore. Origin of Names of Army and Air Corps 
Posts. Camps and Stations in World War II in Wyoming- Goldboro. 
NC: The Author. 195? 

Typescript. Provides information on the Casper Army Air 
Field. Cheyenne Municipal Airport, and Fort Francis E. Warren. 
The American Guidebook/pubWsheA by the Ladies Auxiliary to 
the Veterans of Foreign Wars Laramie Post 222 1 . Laramie. WY: 
The Auxiliary. 1944. 

A list of those in the service of the country from Albany 
County. Called the "Roll of Honor" in the publication. Contains 
advertisements from local merchants. Also includes sections on 

"How to Address Correspondence to War Prisoners or Civilian 
Internees." and many other pieces of useful information. 
Casualty Section, Office of Public Information, U.S. Navy. 
State Summary of War Casualties. Washington: U.S. Navy. 1946. 

A list of individuals from Wyoming "Killed in Action. Died 
of Wounds, or Lost Lives as Result of Operational Movements in 
War Zones." Also includes a "Prisoner of War Record." 
Clough, Wilson Ober. The University of Wyoming. 1939-1946: 
A Land-Grant College in War Laramie. WY: University of 
Wyoming. 1951. 

Wilson Clough served as Secretary of the Faculty. 1939- 
1946. In the forward he states that "The purpose of this review ... 
is to preserve in outline the critical years of war as they affected 
the University, its administration, its student body and faculty, 
its over-all adjustment to the rapidly shifting panorama of events." 
Clough concludes with three appendices — War Programs on the 
Campus; Faculty in Service: and In Memoriam. those killed while 

Cooper, Clara Chassell. A Mothers Quest for Peace Poems on 
the Second World War Written During the Spring and Summer of 
1940. Washington: Distributed by the National Council for Pre- 
vention of War, 1940. 

Cooper, Clara Chassell. Thoughts on War and Peace Poems 
on the Second World War Written During the Second Year of the 
War. Washington. DC: Distributed by the National Council for 
Prevention of War. 1941. 
House Notes, November 1944. Laramie. WY: Sigma Nu. 1944. 

Mainly a listing of Sigma Nu members in the Service and 
how to contact them. 
Larson, T. A. 

Wyoming's War Years. 1941-1945. Cheyenne: Wyoming His- 
torical Foundation. 1993. 

A reprint edition of Dr. Larson's original 1954 publication. 
Dr. Larson was encouraged by Dr. Laura A. White, head of the 
University's history department, to "compile a record of 
Wyoming's contributions to the war and of the war's impact on 
the state." The contents of this work move from an introduction 
about World War II to agriculture, industry, and business to Heart 
Mountain and. finally, postwar planning. Several appendices are 
included as well as a substantial bibliography and index. 
Mason, Mary Kay. World War II and Albany County. Wyo- 
ming. Dallas. TX: Curtis Media. 1995. 

Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World 
War II. this is a compilation of biographical information submit- 
ted by service personnel. Includes a chronology of the war and 
lists of those who served. Many photographs. 
Norlin, George. Valiant For Truth. Laramie. WY: 1940. 

The commencement speech of Dr. George Norlin. from the 
University of Colorado. June 10. 1940. In this 13-page text he 
emphasizes "truth" and Hitler's rise in Germany . He stresses the 


Wyoming History Journal 

need for the U.S. to pay heed to what is occurring in Europe. A 
very interesting view based on his own experiences in Germany 
in the early 1930s. 

Re/lections of World War II: 115th U.S. Cavalry, Wyoming 
National Gward^compiled and edited by students at Dean 
Morgan Junior High School in Casper, Wyoming. Casper, 
WY: Dean Morgan Junior High School, 1993. 

This publication is composed mainly of biographical sketches 
and reproductions of newspaper accounts of men and women from 
the Casper area who served in or were employed by the U.S. 
Armed Forces during World War II. 

United States. Alien Property Custodian. Annual Report. 
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1942-1946. 
The Office of Alien Property Custodian was established March 
1 1, 1942 by Executive Order No. 9095. The powers exercised by 
this Office were derived from the Trading With the Enemy Act 
of October 6, 1917, as amended. The office was created to "deal 
with foreign-owned property problems." 

United States. Alien Property Custodian. Final Determina- 
tions of the Vested Property Claims Committee, December 1943 
to March 1946. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing 
Office, 1946. 

United States. Alien Property Custodian. Terminal Report. 
Washington, DC: October 1946. 

Summarizes the types and amounts of property held by the 
agency. Designed to inform the President and Attorney General 
with an account of problems and the current state of work in that 
office at the time it was transferred to the Department of Justice. 
United States. War Relocation Authority. WRA, A Story of 
Human Conservation. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Print- 
ing Office, 1946. 

The final report of the Director of the War Relocation Au- 
thority (WRA). "An attempt at a comprehensive view of the WRA 

program in its entirety." Includes a chronology of the evacuation 

and the Program 1942-1946. The appendix provides statistical 


University of Wyoming. Information for Veterans, 1946-47. 

Laramie: University of Wyoming, 1946. 

The 1946 issue of the University of Wyoming Bulletin with 
special information for veterans. 

University of Wyoming. Report on University of Wyoming War 
Training for Women. Laramie: University of Wyoming, 1943. 

A typescript publication describing the various war programs 
available for women. Lists courses and opportunities related to 
the area of study. 

War Time Family Food Supply Plan for Wyoming People. 
Laramie: Agricultural Extension Service, University of Wyo- 
ming, 1943. 

A pamphlet listing the average amounts of various foods 
required by one individual for a year. Also includes information 
on victory gardens, how to "Keep a Poultry Flock" and dairy and 
meat production. 

When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Hangs His Gun on 
the Wall, Are We Going to Have a Job For Him Under Our 
System of Free Enterprise?: It Is Your Problem! Cheyenne: 
Wyoming Postwar Planning Committee, 1944. 

An 8-page pamphlet which discusses the needs of Wyoming 
in the transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy. In- 
cludes "A Message from Governor Hunt." Also provides statis- 
tics on civilian employment and a list of what needs to be accom- 
plished through postwar planning. 

Wyoming In Step With Wartime Needs. Laramie: Agricultural 
Extension Service, 1944. 

An 1 1-page pamphlet which stresses the importance of agri- 
culture in the war effort. Discusses milk, beef, and victory gar- 
dens among other wartime concerns. 

lAfa gpn "Wktcls 


by Candy Moolton & Ben Kern 
remember the articles candy mowlton wrote 

in the Casper Star Tribune 
as the 1993 wagon train crossed the west? 

Readers asked for more. So Candy joined forces with Ben Kern, a 
Casper man who drove a covered wagon over the entire distance, and 
together they've written Wagon Wheels. 

They've combined Kern's diary of his contemporary trail journey with 
Moulton's historic research to create a unique retracing of the trail. 
Campsite by campsite, Moulton and Kern move west providing back- 
ground, adventure, and allowing readers to compare historic trail jour- 
neys with a very contemporary one. 

Candy, Ben, and Earl manage a feat of near magic All people who 

cherish the shreds of frontier that still exist in America, and the values that 
arise from them, will clutch this book to their hearts. 

ISBN 0-931271-36-3:paperback, 256 pps, 50+ photos, index, bib. $14.95 

Hiqh Plains Press 

Brinqinq Wyominq to Readers 

At bookstores or direct from the publisher. 

Mail orders add $2 per book shipping. 

Wyoming residents add 5% tax. 


Box 123, Glendo Wyoming 82213 
ph. (307) 735-4370 

Recent Articles About Wyomin 

Compiled by Ron Diener, Jackson Hole Historical Society, VVSHS 

Architecture - Two tine pieces have appeared on related topics, 
a joy to read one after the other: Jon T. Gilpinen, The Front- 
Gabled Log Cabin and the Role of the Great Plains in the Forma- 
tion of the Mountain West's Built Landscape," Great Plains Quar- 
terly. 15, I (Winter 1995). 19-32; and Lauren McCroskey, "Of 
Faith and Stone: Old World Building Traditions in a New Land," 
North Dakota History. 62, 4 (Fall 1995). 28-35. 
Historians of the West - For those who appreciate and follow 
the work of Patricia Nelson Limerick, thev might want to read 
her rather biographical piece, "Place, Past, Perspective," History 
News. 51, 1(1996). 5-13. Hers was the keynote address at the 
1995 annual meeting of the American Association of State and 
Local History. Merrill J. Mattes reviewed the history of the Or- 
egon-California Trails Association, and his own part - a major 
one -in it, in a guest essay titled "OCT A Revolution," Overland 
Journal. 13, 4 (1995-6), 21-28. It is a rewrite and update of a 
speech that Mattes gave in 1983 to ten or a dozen people. His 
observations deserved a larger audience, and here - years later - 
he finally got one. 

-Do not miss the delightful short piece by Joseph C. Porter, "Con- 
fessions of a Public Historian," Journal of the West 35, 1 (1996), 
3-4, especially his distinctions and reconciliations between "his- 
torians and buffs." 

Mountaineering - Originally published in Scrihner's Monthly 
(June 1873), "The Ascent of Mount Hayden," by Nathaniel P. 
Langford, complete with original pictures and commentary, was 
reissued in Snake River Echoes. 24 (2 November 1995), 32-39. 
Native Americans, the Role of Women - Once again, the edito- 
rial staff of The Wind River Rendezvous. 25, 3 (1995), have put 
together a very beautifully illustrated issue, this one titled "The 
Women's Role." Paintings by Vel Miller and Howard Terpoing 
(plus two by Frank C. McCarthy and one by John F. Clymer) 
grace the pages. 

St. Stephens Indian Mission Celebrates the 25th Anniversary 
of The Wind River Rendezvous - The anniversary issue, 26, 1 
( 1996), celebrates the event with a review of past directors, with 
a special section on the refurbishing and history of the church 
building itself. Congratulations! 

Transportation, Communication -The Wind River Mountain- 
eer. II, 3(1995), 4-28, has done it again with a beautiful article on 
early autos in Wyoming bv Tom Bell, "From Buggies to Autos It 
Was a Long and Difficult Transition." Charles E. Hanson, "Fur 
Traders' Letters," The Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly. 31.4 
( W inter 1995), 7-8, picks up on the letter as a physical object and 
describes how epistolary exchange was conducted with a nice bit 
about envelopes and stamps. 

Women's Suffrage - Jean Ford and James W. Hulse, "The First 
Battle for Women Suffrage in Nevada 1869-1871: Correcting and 
Expanding the Record," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly. 38, 
3 (Fall 1995), 174-188. Why does this theme sound so familiar 
here in Wyoming? Good reading for comparison with Wyoming's 


Cowboys from Indians- Reviewer William W. Savage, Jr., took on both 
the author and the publisher in his review of Peter Iverson, When Indians 
Became Cowboys Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the American 

West ("Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, l994)inthe/fmer/cflrt//«- 
torical Review 101. 1 (February 1996). 240-241 Hie negativity ofthe re- 
view isonlv surpassed bv the criticism ofthe publisher. Savage focused on 
the lack of editorial review and improvement at University of Oklahoma 
Press, concluding with "Clio weeps, as must those w ailing to be published." 
Frederick Jackson Turner [again ) "Win cannot historians ofthe Ameri- 
can frontier and or the American West perform their scholarship without 
ceaseless recourse to often highly personal arguments about 1 urner him- 
self, his devotees, and his critics?" Jackson K. Putnam asked in his rev iew 
of Wilbur R. Jacobs. On Turner's Trail lot) Years oj Writing Western 
History (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1994), in the American 
Historical Review. 101, 1 1 February 1 996). 24 1 . It is a choice, well-phrased, 
sharp review of what has become [yawn] an unexciting topic. 
Settlement ofthe West, a Biography - Pardon our Wyoming pride, hut the 
mother, Ethel Waxham Love, of our leading senior geologist. Dav id Love 

- and, of course, grandmother of our leading junior geologist. Charlie Love 

- has graced the cover of a collection of journals and letters. Ladies C 'hoice 
Ethel Waxham S Journals and Letters. 191)5- 19 10 (Albuquerque: Univer- 
sity of New Mexico Press, 1993), edited by two of her granddaughters. 
Barbara Love and Frances Love Froidevaux. One of our favorite journals. 
Montana the Magazine of Western History. 45, I ( 1 995 ), 77-78. published 
a favorable review by Sandra Schackel. She better; the introduction was 
written by Montana editor-in-chief; Charles B. Rankin! 
Yellowstone - Check out the review by Mark Fiege of Mary Bradshaw 
Richards, Camping Out in Yellowstone 18H2 (Salt Lake City : University 
of Utah Press, 1994) in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 86, 4 (1 all 1995). 

If a subscription amount is given for an individual for equivalent), the an- 
nual amount is noted. There may he additional or differential subscription 
rates (e.g., family, institutional, etc.). 

American Historical Review, ISSN 0002-8762, 400 A Street S F. Washing- 
ton DC 20003 S65 

Great Plains Quarterly, ISSN ; 0275-7664, Center for Great Plains Studies, 
1214 Oldfather Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0313: 

Journal ofthe West An Illustrated Quarterly Devoted to Western Histor) 
and Culture. ISSN : 0022-5169. Department of History, Kansas State Uni- 
versity, Manhattan, KS 66506-1 009 : $38 

Museum ofthe Pur Trade Quarterly. ISSN : 0027-4 135, 6321 Highway 20, 
Chadron, NE 69337 : $6 

Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, ISSN ; 0047-9462. 1650 N Virginia 
St. Reno NV 89503 $25 

North Dakota History Journal ofthe Northern Plains, ISSN 0029-27 III. 
State Historical Society of North Dakota, 612 East Boulevard. Bismarck. 
ND 58505 : $30 

Oregon Historical Quarterly. ISSN : 0030-4727. I 200 Sw Park Ave. Port- 
land OR 97205 : $25 

Overland Journal Quarterly Journal of the Oregon-California Trails l\- 
sociation, ISSN : 0738-1093, P0 Box 1019. Independence MO 64051 : 

Pacific Northwest Quarterly, ISSN ; 0000-0000. 4045 Brooklyn Ave NF, 
Seattle WA 98105: $22 

Persimmon Hill. ISSN : 0093-707X. 1700 NE 63d St. Oklahoma City OK 
73111: $20 

Snake River Echoes Upper Snake River I alley History, P.O. Box 244. 
Rexburg. ID 83440-0244 : $10 

The Western Historical Quarterly, ISSN : 0043-3810, Utah State Univer- 
sity, Logan UT 84322 $40 

Hind River Mountaineer. Pioneer Museum, 630 Lincoln St., Lander WY 
82520: $16 


Gasper Air Base 

Interior, Service Club 

Photos by Craig Pindell 


The front cover is description 21 indicated on the facing page. The hack cover is #16. 

The twenty-one episodes of Wyoming history in the 
Casper Army Air Base mural. All descriptions are 
taken from the June 30, 1944, issue of the Slipstream. 

1The mural history of Wyoming begins with the Arapahoe 
Indian legend of the beginning of the earth which Jez-a-ne-au- 
thau, the Creator, gave a lone Indian a country after causing the 
water to recede. 

2. Shoshone Indians enjoyed buffalo hunting long before the 
white man. 

3. The first known white man entering Wyoming was John 
Colter, of the Lewis-Clark expedition, who was amazed by the 
Yellowstone geysers. 

4 White man discovered the wealth of the state after Robert 
Stuart's fur trading expedition through Wyoming to the Pacific 

5. By 1824 fur trading had become a big venture in the West 
with thousands of trappers and traders flocking in to barter with the 

6. At first trappers and traders came on foot and on horse- 
back, but soon wagon trains were rolling across the prairies. 

7. Soon after the opening of the new country, missionaries 
came to Christianize the Indians. Dr. Marcus Whitman and his 
wife were the first. 

8. Without Kit Carson, the opening of the West would have 
been a much longer story. 

9. Most tragic story of the westward trek of the white man was 
the Mormon hand-cart brigade of 600 men, women and children, 
most of whom were killed by a severe blizzard in Sweetwater 

10 The population of the West had increased to such an 
extent that in 1851 the first stagecoach line was established, 
following the Oregon Trail through Wyoming to Salt Lake City. 

1 1 . A faster means of carrying mail was found in 1 860 when 
the famous Pony Express was begun. 

12. All through the early history of the West, the Indians and 
the white man were at war with Wyoming as the central battle- 

1 3. Wilderness and Indian opposition could not halt the push 
of civilization and in 1867 came the great Union Pacific railroad 
whose line reached the terminal point of Cheyenne, Wyoming. 

14. Mrs. Eliza Swain, of Wyoming, was the first woman voter 
in the United States as a result of the "Female Suffrage" bill passed 
in 1869. 

15. The same year John Allen Campbell was named the first 
territorial governor of the new territory of Wyoming. 

16-17. Sweeping winds of Wyoming kept deep snows off the 
prairies during the winter months, encouraging the rapid growth of 
a huge cattle industry. (Mural 16 is reproduced on back cover) 

18. By the late '80s sheep raising began to develop into a 
major industry. 

1 9. Sheepherders lived in "sheep wagons" when they ranged 
their herds over the vast prairies. 

20. Many years after the trappers found wealth in the state, 
petroleum was discovered and Wyoming once led all fields in 
average daily production. 

21. Appropriately, the artists conclude this mural history of 
Wyoming with the coming of the Army Air Field to Casper, 
anticipating victory in this war and increasing activity in world 
commerce to Wyoming after a peace is assured. (Cover photo) 

--continued from inside front cover-- 
Private David Rosenblatt. They spent seven months re- 
searching and painting. Because the walls were celotex 
and too absorbent for oils, the artists devised a paint which 
was "a combination lecturer's chalk, pastel and solidified 
earth powders. . . The whole was sprayed with a fixative. " 
The four artists found the chalk mixture to be "more 
adaptable, more expressive and colorful." The Slip Stream 
featured the mural in its June 30, 1994, issue. 

The mural is still an impressive sight, having retained 
much of its original color. For years the Square Dancers 
Club of Casper has used the service club for their head- 
quarters. According the a report of the mural's history 
written by Angelene Ford in 1 988 and sent to the editors, 
the square dancers "saved the building from becoming a 
carpentry shop in which the murals faced destruction or 
mutilation as shelves and cabinets were built over them." 
A letter published in the Casper Star-Tribune written by 
one of the square dancers stated that the mural's "excellent 
condition today testifies to the meticulous care and protec- 
tion they have received from the square dancers over the 

The history of the service club mural illustrates the 
point that the preservation of Wyoming's history is a 
cooperative effort. More than fi fty years ago Casper Army 
Air Base personnel believed it was important for the men 
and women passing through the base's gates to understand 
the history of their new home. Four non- Wyoming artists 
studied the state's history and developed an appreciation 
for it which can be seen in the twenty-one episodes of 
Wyoming history recorded in the mural. The Square 
Dancers Club of Casper continues to preserve this impor- 
tant historical document from the war years. Members of 
the Wyoming State Historical Society and a photographer 
from the Wyoming State Archives spent their time ensur- 
ing the story of one of Wyoming's last vestiges of the war 
years would be told. 

Just as the mural at Casper Air Base resulted from the 
belief in the importance of the study of Wyoming's past, 
this issue of the Wyoming History Journal, presented by 
the Wyoming State Historical Society, is the result of the 
same belief. The efforts of the Society, the Wyoming State 
Museum, the Wyoming Council for the Humanities, and 
such dedicated Wyoming historians as Michael Cassity, 
Dave Kathka, Ann Noble, and Dudley Gardner have made 
it possible for us to look back fifty years so we can study 
the effects of World War II on our state and understand the 
sacrifices made by those who helped preserve our free- 
doms during World War II, both in uniform and on the 
homefront. We also hope it will allow us to understand 
how the war changed Wyoming and what that means for 
the state as we approach a new century. 





-*< R C. l-t I • T E- C T 


BR*WN BY 3^- TRACtP B.Y &. 

CHECKE.D ON ll-ZT-to BY C?i3!^^- 

In This Issue: 

'Wyoming History Journal and 
Anna(s of Wyoming Merge 

This issue marks the merger of Annals of Wyoming and the Wyoming 
History Journal. Carl Hallberg, historian archivist in the Division of 
Cultural Resources, State Department of Commerce, edited most of the 
articles appearing in this issue. In future issues, Hallberg will serve as hook 
review editor. Melinda Brazzale designed the articles on the Cheyenne 
airport, David E . Jackson, and the Mormon wagon companies. Her expertise 
will he called upon from time to time in future issues. 

The first issue of Annals of Wyoming was published in 1925 and, in 
1953, the Annals became the official publication of the Wyoming State 
Historical Society. The Wyoming History Journal was founded a year ago 
as the official publication of the Society following severance of connections 
between the Society and the Wyoming Department of Commerce. In the 
summer of 1996, the State and the Society entered into a joint agreement 
to publish Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal. This is the 
initial product of that merger. 

The partnership continues a tradition established even before 1953 
when the present State Historical Society was founded. Robert C. Morris, 
the first secretary of the "Wyoming Historical Society" in 1898, concluded 
in his annual report for that year: "[I]t is not unreasonable to hope that the 
Wyoming Historical Society may accomplish great results in future years. 
All that is necessary is that a generous State shall extend to the Society its 
fostering care and enlightened protection." 

Members of the Wyoming State Historical Society have been unstint- 
in their support of the Wyoming History Journal during the past year and 
confident they will continue to do so as we enter this new era of 
ociety- State cooperation. We thank the American Heritage Center, 
University of Wyoming, for furnishing office space for the Journal. Offices 
of the Journal have now become the offices of Annals of Wyoming: The 
Wyoming History Journal. We acknowledge the financial contributions 
made by numerous friends of the journal and hope we may merit then- 
continued support. Our thanks, too, to the authors of the quality writing 
such as those appearing in this issue. Thanks, also, to Rick Ewig, my valuable 
co-editor for Wyoming History Journal. Both of us have enjoyed our 
"volunteer stint" as co-editors. 

Regardless of who will be editing future editions, we are confident that 
future editors will remember that the Annals is for the members. It is not an 
instrument for personal advancement nor should it be edited to please a small 
clique of academics who already have scholarly journals piling up, mostly 
unread, on their desks. The Annals will continue to publish articles about 
Wyoming history written by scholars as well as lay historians. We are 
confident that with your help and support, Annals will be the journal to which 
you will turn for well-written, interesting articles about Wyoming's history. 

Phil Roberts 


we , 


Phil Roberts 

Guest Editor for this Issue:: 

Carl Hallberg 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Officers, 1995-1996 

Maggi Layton, President 

Glen Morris, First Vice President 

Patty Myers, Second Vice President 

Sherry Taylor, Secretary 

Rick Ewig, Treasurer 


Board of Editors 

Barbara Allen Bogart 

Euanston (1996) 
Don Hodgson 

Torrington (1996) 
Lawrence M. Woods 

Worland (1996) 
John D. McDermott 

Sheridan (1997) 
William H. Moore 

Laramie (1997) 
Ann Noble 

Cora (1997) 
Thomas F. Stroock 

Casper (1997) 
David Kathka 

Rock Springs (1998) 
T A. Larson 

Laramie (1998) 
Sherry Smith 

Jackson (1998) 

WSHS Publications Committee 

Maggi Layton, Chair 

Michael Cassity, 

Rick Ewig, 

Loren Jost, 

David Kathka, 

Rock Springs 
Phil Roberts, 


nnais o 



'The 'Wyoming 'History 'Journal 
Summer 1996 'Vol. 68, 'Xp. J 

The Black 14: Williams v. Eaton --A Personal Recollection ^ 

By James E. Barrett 

One of the participants in the incident responds to the article "Fired by Conscience: The Black 14 Incident at the 
University of Wyoming, " published in the Winter, 1996, issue of Wyoming History Journal. His recollections provide a 
wholly different view of the incident that rocked the University of Wyoming in October, 1969. 

Cheyenne versus Denver: City Rivalry and the Quest for Transcontinental Air Routes 8 

By Roger D. Launius and Jessie L. Embry 

The two cities vied for air supremacy and, initially, Cheyenne held the edge. 

Out of Obscurity: A Look at the Life of David E. Jackson, Field Captain of the Rocky 24 
Mountain Fur Trade 

By Vivian L. Talbot 

Little is known of David E. Jackson, the mountain man for whom Jackson Hole was named. Talbot unveils some of the 
mystery from the life of this legendary mountain man. 

On the Heels of the Handcart Tragedy: Mormondom's Forgotten 1856 Wagon Com- 38 


By Melvin L. Bashmore 

Historians have overlooked some aspects of Mormon travel in the 1850s, emphasizing the celebrated incidents that ended 
in tragedy. Bashmore rights the imbalance in this view of the wagon companies that made it. 

Book Reviews 

Iverson, When Indians Became Cowboys: Native Peoples and Cattle Ranching, reviewed by Jerry A. Davis 50 

Szasz. Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker, reviewed by Bobbalee Schuler-Hughes 51 

Opie, Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land, reviewed by Phil Roberts 52 

Shinn, The Story- of a Mine, as Illustrated by the Great Comstock Lode of Nevada, reviewed by Robert Rosenberg 52 

Reneau. The Adventures of Moccasin Joe: True Life Story of George S. Howard, reviewed by Merrill J. Mattes 53 

Richards, Camping Out in the Yellowstone, 1882, reviewed by Christina Stopka 53 

Bitton, The Ritualization of Mormon History and Other Essays, reviewed by Melvin T. Smith 54 

Hirt, A Conspiracy of Optimism: Management of the National Forests since WWII, reviewed by Melody Webb 55 

Launius and Thatcher, Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History, reviewed by Wayne K. Hinton 55 

Annals ofWyoming.The Wyoming History Journal is published by the Wyoming State Historical Society in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, 
the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming, and the Department of History, University of Wyoming. The journal was formerly known as the Quarterly 
Bulletin (1923-25). Annals of Wyoming { 1925-1 WS). Wyoming Annals (1993-1995), and Wyoming History Journal ( 1995-1996). The Annals has been the official 
publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1953. The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts on every aspect of Wyoming and Western 
history. Authors should submit manuscripts on diskettes utilizing Word Perfect. Microsoft Word or ASCII text, and two copies double-spaced hard copy to: Wyoming 
History Journal, P. O. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie. WY 82071. Manuscripts should conform to A Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press). Authors 
are responsible for the interpretation in their articles. Manuscripts are refereed by members of the Board of Editors and others. The editor makes decisions regarding 
publication. For information about reprints and Journal back issues, contact the editors. 

Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is received by members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Current membership is 2,350. Membership dues 
are: single $20. joint $30. student (under 21) $15. institutional $40. contributing $100-249, sustaining $250-499, patron $500-999. donor $1,000+. To join, contact 
your local chapter or w rite WSHS, 1740H 184 Dell Range Blvd.. Cheyenne W Y 82009. Articles in Annals are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History 
and Life. 

ISSN: 1086-7368 Copyright Wyoming State Historical Society 1996 

ci personal recollection by James €. Barrett 

More than 26 years ago, I was involved in an 
incident that shook the University of Wyoming 
and the entire State of Wyoming. It changed 
the fortunes of the Wyoming football program 
and that of many student-athletes enrolled in the 
program. This is my story of the "Black 14." 

On Thursday, October 1 6, 1 969, 1 was serving my third 
year as Wyoming Attorney General. At the University of 
Wyoming late that afternoon, following football practice, 
Joe Williams, a black tri-captain, contacted Head Coach 
Lloyd Eaton and informed him that the black football play- 
ers planned to wear black armbands during the football game 
scheduled to be played in Laramie, Wyoming, between 
Wyoming and Bngham Young University on Saturday, 
October 1 8. 1 969. Prior thereto, on October 1 4, 1 969, Coach 
Eaton had received a hand-delivered copy of a letter writ- 
ten by Willie S. Black, Chancellor. Black Student Alli- 
ance on the campus, objecting to racist beliefs of the Mor- 
mon Church, and demanding that the University of Wyo- 
ming refuse to permit the use of its facilities to host BYU 
and that WAC athletic directors refuse to schedule games 
with BYU as long as the church continued its racist poli- 

Williams told Eaton that the reasons for the armband 
protest were the religious beliefs of the Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church), which owns 
and operates Brigham Young University, that blacks could 
not achieve the priesthood and were denied other areas of 
church worship. Eaton informed Williams that the armbands 
were not to be worn during the game, that the football field 
was no place for a religious demonstration, and that the 
black players could vent their resentment on the playing 
field during the game. I obtained this information from 
Coach Eaton. 

Apparently, the fourteen black football players met 
the evening of October 1 6th and determined that they would 
wear the armbands on their uniforms during the Wyo-BYU 
football game, regardless of Coach Eaton. 

The following morning, Friday, October 17, 1969, the 
fourteen black football players, wearing black armbands, 
went to the athletic department and asked to meet with 
Coach Eaton. A meeting was held in the fieldhouse during 
which remarks were made by the black players regarding 
the Mormon Church and its racial bias against blacks. One 
of the players remarked that he was preparing to join the 
church. Thereupon, Coach Eaton responded to the effect, 
"Isn't that something. You plan to join that church and 
abide by its beliefs for the rest of your life but you plan to 
demonstrate against it tomorrow." Eaton stated to the play- 
ers that religious protests could not play any part in college 
football. The meeting ended after Coach Eaton, convinced 
that the fourteen were insistent on wearing the black 
armbands during the football game, notified the fourteen 
that they were no longer members of the football squad. I 
obtained this information from Coach Eaton. The media 
tabbed the incident as the "Black 14." It resulted in pro- 
longed litigation known as Williams v. Eaton. The incident 
and case received extensive national and international at- 
tention and was the subject of many articles. 

Live testimony given by the black football players and 
affidavits executed by them tell a different version of the 
fieldhouse meeting on October 17, 1969. That testimony 
was that the fourteen black players had come to Coach 

Eaton's office that morning simply to discuss the matter 
with him and to obtain his advice. Some stated that if Eaton 
had told them not to wear the armbands, they would ha\e 
followed his advice. Instead, they said, the meeting in the 
fieldhouse lasted only about five minutes, during which 
Coach Eaton made racial remarks such as that they could 
go back to black welfare. They contend that Coach Eaton 
refused to talk with them and that he discharged them from 
the team without regard for their feelings 

Soon after the terminations, Willie Black. Joe Will- 
iams and others demanded to be heard out by the President 
of the university, William D. Carlson. President Carlson 
met with Athletic Director Glen J. "Red" Jacoby and then 
with Willie Black, Williams and the other affected players. 
As a result, Governor Stanley K. Hathaway was contacted 
and a decision was made by C.E. "Jerry" Hollon. President 
of the Board of Trustees, to call an emergency meeting of 
the University Board of Trustees in Old Main on the cam- 
pus Friday evening, October 17. Unfortunately, a snow 
storm developed that day preventing some members of the 
Board from attending. However, all but one member of the 
Board participated in the meeting, either in person or by 
speakerphone. Governor Hathaway was present. The meet- 
ing was presided over by Jerry Hollon. 

The meeting of the Board of Trustees was thorough 
and exhausting. It lasted until about 4:30 a.m. on October 
18, 1969. Governor Hathaway, President Carlson and the 
Board met with Coach Eaton, Athletic Director Jacoby and 
the coaching staff for about an hour and fully explored all 
of the facts and circumstances of Coach Eaton's dismissal 
of the black fourteen. They then met with the black four- 
teen and Willie S. Black and fully heard from each of them. 
That meeting lasted in excess of two hours. Finally, at the 
request of the fourteen. Governor Hathaway, accompa- 
nied by President Carlson, met w ith the fourteen in an ad- 
jacent room in Old Main. Governor Hathaway again in- 
quired of them whether they insisted upon wearing the 
armbands during the football game. Governor Hathaway 
had predicated the question with his observation that the 
state and the university could not condone or support a dem- 
onstration against any religion or otherwise interfere with 
freedom of religion. Even so, the fourteen insisted on the 
right to wear the armbands during the game. In addition, 
four or five of the fourteen responded negatively when 
Governor Hathaway asked whether, disregarding the BYU 
game, they would return to the Wyoming football team. 
None of the fourteen indicated that he would return to the 
football team if Coach Eaton remained as Head Coach. 
Willie Hysaw, one of the fourteen, asked Governor 
Hathaway whether he was a racist. 

After the meeting with the fourteen players, Governor 
Hathaway and President Carlson returned to the Board 
meeting room and reported the conversation to the Board. 
The Board then voted unanimously to support Coach Eaton's 
action, and, at the same time, to offer the fourteen black 
athletes continuation of their athletic scholarships to the 
end of the semester and other scholarships if they desired 

Annals of Wyoming 

to continue with their education at the university thereaf- 
ter. The fourteen were informed of this immediately. I ob- 
tained this information from Governor Hathaway, Presi- 
dent Carlson, Jerry Hollon, Alfred M. Pence, William R. 
Jones, and Eph U. Johnson, members of the Board of Trust- 

When I was informed of the situation in the early morn- 
ing of October 18th, my first thought was that the univer- 
sity could not permit any of its representatives - and I knew 
that the WAC Code described student-athletes as "official 
representatives of their institutions" - to use its playing field 
to protest against a church or religious belief. I believed 
that if Wyoming officials knew, as they did in this case, 
that the purpose behind the armband display was to protest 
religious beliefs, they were obligated to prevent it. In my 
mind, the First Amendment to the United States Constitu- 
tion guaranteeing freedom of speech was subservient, in 
this case, to the principle of complete neutrality in matters 
of religion. It is well here to recall that the First Amend- 
ment provides: 

Congress shall make no law respecting an estab- 
lishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise 
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech; or of the press; 
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to 
petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

I was aware that Art. 21, § 25 of the Wyoming Consti- 
tution guarantees perfect toleration of religious sentiment 
and provides that no inhabitant of Wyoming shall ever be 
molested in person or property on account of his or her 
mode of religious worship and that Art. 1, § 18 guarantees 
free exercise of religion and worship without discrimina- 
tion or preference. I knew that the Supreme Court of the 
United States had mandated that governments must display 
neutrality toward religion and religious institutions, rather 
than hostility, and that the neutrality required need not stem 
from callous indifference to religion, but may at times be 
benevolent. 1 The Supreme Court made it clear that the 
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits 
governments from: making laws establishing religion; tak- 
ing action preferring one religion over another; taking ac- 
tion preferring religion generally as against non-belief; and 
exercising legislative power respecting religious beliefs or 
their expression. 2 I recalled that the University is an agency 
or arm of the State. 3 

Within several days after the Wyoming-BYU football 
game, I was informed that Mr. William Waterman, an at- 
torney who represented the NAACP, of Pontiac, Michi- 
gan, was on the Wyoming campus investigating the case 
on behalf of the fourteen black student athletes. I was told 
that Mr. Waterman had been received enthusiastically 
and sympathetically by most of the faculty of the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming College of Law, and that he spent about a 
week on the campus. He had handled considerable civil 
rights litigation for the NAACP. 

On October 30, 1969, Mr. Waterman, joined by 

Cheyenne, Wyoming, attorneys, Charles E. Graves, J. R. 
Smyth, and Weston W. Reeves called at my office in the 
capitol building in Cheyenne. Mr. Waterman informed me 
that this visit was a "last chance" for the state and the uni- 
versity to remedy the wrong done to the fourteen black play- 
ers' First Amendment rights of free speech and expression. 
He stated that in order to avoid a lawsuit, it was necessary 
that the fourteen be immediately restored to the football 
team without condition, that Coach Eaton's "no demon- 
stration" rule be abolished, there be no further interference 
with their protest movement, and that Coach Eaton be fired. 
Mr. Waterman proclaimed that the case was absolutely con- 
trolled by the Supreme Court's decision in Tinker v. Des 
Moines School District.* In that case, the Court upheld the 
First Amendment right of school students to wear black 
armbands in protest of the Vietnam conflict, absent any 
evidence of disruption of normal school routine or impinge- 
ment upon the rights of other students. 

In light of the fact that Mr. Waterman was using the 
occasion of our first meeting to deliver a series of ultima- 
rums, not the least of which was the firing of Wyoming's 
highly respected football coach, I concluded that Mr. 
Waterman was oblivious to the First Amendment's com- 
mand that the state and its officials must maintain strict 
neutrality in matters of religion and religious beliefs, and 
that, in particular, they cannot condone, support or permit 
the use of state facilities to display hostility toward any 
church or any religion. It seemed to me that Mr. Waterman 
was so singularly focused on the freedom of speech provi- 
sions of the First Amendment that he was blinded to the 
First Amendment's religious neutrality requirements. In 
response, I stated that the demands were unacceptable to 
my clients but that Coach Eaton was ready and willing, at 
any time, to meet with the fourteen individually to explore 
the possibility of their reinstatement to the team. Mr. 
Waterman stated that there would be no such meetings. 
Oddly, however, he volunteered that he was convinced that 
"there is not a discriminatory bone in Lloyd Eaton's body." 

That same afternoon, Mr. Waterman filed a 42 U.S.C. 
§ 1983 civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the fourteen in the 
United States District Court for the District of Wyoming in 
Cheyenne, which, in legal jargon, was titled "Williams v. 
Eaton," wherein the black fourteen were plaintiffs and the 
state, the university, President Carlson, Coach Eaton, mem- 
bers of the Board of Trustees and Red Jacoby were the de- 
fendants. After filing the suit, Mr. Waterman held a press 
conference. Remarks were made with racial overtones. It 

1 Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 
(1963); McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 
(1948); Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947). 

2 Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962); Zorach v. 
Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1952); McCollum; Cantwell v. Con- 
necticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940). 

3 Hjorth Royalty Co. v. Trustees of Univ. of Wyo., 222 
P. 9 (Wyo. 1924). 

4 393 U.S. 503 (1969) 

Summer 1996 

is important to recall, however, that the civil rights com- 
plaint did not contain a single allegation of racial discrimi- 
nation. The primary, principal grievance was that the four- 
teen had been denied their First Amendment right of free 
speech and expression. The complaint sought money dam- 
ages of S75.000 for each plaintiff totaling SI, 050,000 and 
punitive damages of $50,000. It also sought injunctive and 
declaratory relief asking the court to order the players' re- 
instatement to the football team without conditions. Para- 
graph 18 of the complaint alleged that: 

Plaintiffs will suffer further irreparable harm from 
the unlawful suspension and dismissal in that their ability 
to promote their careers, practice and perform their skills 
has been denied them, and the said dismissal has caused 
them to lose their chance to be observed by professional 
scouts as potential professional football players during 
the 1969 football season. 

After the complaint was filed, I interviewed Gov- 
ernor Hathaway, President Carlson, Jerry Hollon, Coach 
Eaton and members of his coaching staff, including Fritz 
Shurmur and Paul Roach, and members of the Board of 
Trustees. I was impressed with Coach Eaton's attitude, 
concern and sincerity. I found him to be intense, direct, 
precise and caring. The loyalty and close-knit relationship 
between Eaton and his staff was obvious. Little wonder, I 
thought, that Coach Eaton and his staff had recruited some 
of the finest student-athletes to the University of Wyoming 
from across the country and had established one of the 
nation's elite college football programs. In 1968, Eaton's 
team had enjoyed an undefeated season and barely lost to a 
highly rated Louisiana State team in the Sugar Bowl, 20- 
13. That game ended with Wyoming threatening on LSU's 
five yard line. Many of us believed that the 1969 team was 
even greater. It had powered over its first four opponents 
and was one of the top ranked teams in the country. Even 
without the fourteen black athletes, most of whom were 
starters, Wyoming managed to defeat BYU, 40 to 7. From 
that point on, however, the season went downhill. Injuries 
and the absence of the Black 14 depleted Wyoming's once 
bright 1969 football fortunes. Wyoming lost its last four 
games, all on the road. 

An evidentiary hearing was set by the late United States 
District Judge Ewing T. Kerr of the District of Wyoming, 
at 9 a.m., on November 10, 1969, to determine whether to 
issue a temporary restraining order directing the defendants 
to restore the fourteen to the football team, with all consti- 
tutional rights and privileges. 

The black fourteen were present in the courtroom on 
November 10 for the hearing. However, because Mr. 
Waterman's plane had been delayed out of Pontiac, Michi- 
gan, Mr. Graves asked for a continuance of the hearing to 
1:30 p.m. After granting the motion, the court requested 
that the attorneys meet with him in his chambers. Mr. 
Graves and Mr. Reeves appeared on behalf of the black 
fourteen. 1 appeared on behalf of the state, university and 
all other defendants. Judge Kerr inquired of us whether there 

was any way to settle the case. I responded that Coach 
Eaton had always said that he was willing at any time to 
meet with the black fourteen individually on a person-to- 
person basis regarding their return to the team. Judge Ken- 
stated that perhaps the parties should attempt such meet- 
ings. Mr. Graves responded that he could not agree to such 
meetings because Coach Eaton had such a strong personal- 
ity that he would take advantage of the black fourteen. He 
ventured, however, that such meetings might be possible if 
the attorneys were present. I was shocked at this sugges- 
tion, and remarked that if things were to be worked out 
between the coach and the players, it had to be done be- 
tween them personally, and that the lawyers should not try 
the lawsuit at such meetings! However, as a compromise I 
suggested that perhaps Judge Kerr might consent to sit in 
on the meetings. Judge Kerr stated that he was agreeable. 
Mr. Graves said that such meetings might be agreeable but 
that the decision would be up to Waterman, as lead coun- 

Judge Kerr then asked me whether Coach Eaton could 
come to Cheyenne that afternoon for the meetings. I said 
that I would phone him right away. I went to an adjacent 
room and contacted Coach Eaton in his office. He was 
both anxious and willing to come to Cheyenne for the meet- 
ings. He did ask, however, if it would be agreeable to bring 
his entire coaching staff so that the coach who recruited the 
particular player could also participate. I told him that un- 
less he heard otherwise from me, he should plan to bring 
the other coaches. Eaton asked when the meetings would 
be held and 1 replied that they would be early afternoon if 
the plaintiffs and Mr. Waterman agreed to them. Coach 
Eaton informed me that he would remain in his office near 
the phone. His tone was upbeat and positive. He said he 
was prepared to drive to Cheyenne in a moment's notice. I 
related this conversation to Judge Kerr, Mr. Graves and 
Mr. Reeves. I felt confident that the meetings would be 
held and that matters would be resolved that day. I had 
been told many times that the fourteen were very aggrieved 
that they were no longer able to demonstrate their football 
skills in the presence of professional football scouts. 

I came back to the courtroom well before 1 :30 p.m.. in 
order to speak with Mr. Waterman about the proposed meet- 
ings. When he finally arrived in the courtroom, we ex- 
changed handshakes but he did not mention the meetings. 
As time continued to run, I approached Mr. Waterman and 
asked him about the meetings between Coach Eaton and 
the fourteen, individually, with Judge Kerr sitting in. He 
curtly replied, "There will be no such meetings." He of- 
fered no explanation for his abrupt dismissal of the pro- 
posed settlement meetings. Mr. Waterman did not indicate 
that he had informed the fourteen of the proposed meetings 
with Coach Eaton and Judge Kerr and that they had re- 
jected our proposal. I believed at the moment and I main- 
tain today that a golden opportunity to resolve the dispute 
to the satisfaction of all concerned was lost by Mr. 
Waterman's unqualified rejection of the proposed settle- 
ment meetings. 


Annals of Wyoming 

With that, I contacted Judge Kerr's secretary and in- 
formed her of Mr. Waterman's response and I asked an 
assistant to phone Coach Eaton and advise him of the re- 
sponse. The assistant reported to me that Coach Eaton was 
very disappointed. 

The November 10 hearing proceeded after Mr. 
Waterman rejected the settlement meetings. The black four- 
teen presented the testimony of Joe Williams, who iden- 
tified himself as their spokesman. He made it clear that he 
had enrolled at the University of Wyoming to play football 
because of Wyoming's winning record and in the hope that 
one day he could play professional football. He pointed out 
that professional scouts for the Dallas Cowboys, the Los 
Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts had already con- 
tacted him and he was concerned about not being seen dur- 
ing the balance of the 1969 season. He explained the griev- 
ance of the black fourteen against the Mormon Church 
policy denying priesthood to blacks and that certain sacra- 
ments of the church were not available to blacks. He also 
testified that during his October 16 meeting with Coach 
Eaton that Eaton had told him "There won't be any trouble 
unless you wear black arm bands on the field." He specifi- 
cally denied that the fourteen had insisted on wearing the 
black ami bands during the football game, stating that "No, 
we didn't plan to." On my cross-examination, Williams 
made it clear that he had not been informed about the legal 
position of the state and university relative to the wearing 
of the armbands. Because of evidentiary rules, I could not 
examine him as to whether he had refused to meet with 
Coach Eaton and Judge Kerr that day to discuss settlement 
of the lawsuit, or whether he was even aware of the pro- 
posed settlement meeting. 

As I stood in the courtroom, I looked toward the jury 
box where the black fourteen were seated with front row 
views. I took it for granted that their attorneys had informed 
them of the proposed meetings with Coach Eaton and Judge 
Kerr that afternoon and I wondered what they could gain 
by refusing to meet. To this day, I believe that if the black 
fourteen had been permitted to discuss their needs and de- 
sires and their future with Coach Eaton and other members 
of the coaching staff on November 10, 1969, the whole 
matter would have been resolved favorably to all concerned. 
If the fourteen had been left in the dark about the settle- 
ment meetings, what could have been the motive for such a 

A few weeks following the November 10 hearing, 
when registration for the second semester at the university 
was ongoing, I received a call from a member of the uni- 
versity Registrar's Office in Laramie. He related that two 
of the black fourteen had been in his office that day inquir- 
ing about registration and that both were unhappy that they 
had not been able to play football the balance of the sea- 
son. This individual asked them why they did not meet 
with Coach Eaton and Judge Kerr at the courthouse in Chey- 
enne on November 10th. Their response was that they had 
not heard of any such meetings but that they would have 
met with Coach Eaton that day had they known. 


In addition to Williams' testimony at the November 
10 hearing, Tony McGee, Ivy Moore and Willie Hysaw, 
three of the black fourteen, signed a joint affidavit denying 
that they had stated during their meeting with the trustees 
on October 18th that they had "absolutely" refused to re- 
turn to the football team unless they were permitted to wear 
the arm bands and that Coach Eaton must be fired. Their 
main grievance about their dismissal from the team was 
that they had been unable to demonstrate their athletic skills 
before professional football scouts. 

The state and university presented their case refuting 
the testimony of the black fourteen and described in detail 
the events leading up to the Wyoming-BYU football game 
on October 18, 1969. President Carlson testified in detail. 
Affidavits signed by Governor Hathaway, members of the 
Board of Trustees, and others, were admitted in evidence. 
All of them asserted that the black fourteen had insisted on 
wearing the black armbands on the football field and that 
Coach Eaton be fired. 

The November 10 hearing had commenced at 1:30 p.m. 
Closing arguments of counsel were concluded before a 
crowded courtroom at about 7 p.m. 

Judge Kerr took matters under advisement and on No- 
vember 17, 1969, he entered an order denying the black 
fourteen's application for a temporary restraining order re- 
storing them to the football team. The black fourteen there- 
after filed their notice of appeal to the United States Circuit 
Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit. During the pendency of 
the appeal, three of the black fourteen, John Griffin, Don 
Meadows, and Ted Williams, withdrew from the law- 
suit. They had met individually with Coach Eaton, success- 
fully completed spring football practice, and were full mem- 
bers of the Wyoming football squad for the 1970 football 

On November 20, 1969, the state and university filed 
their Motion to Dismiss and/or for Summary Judgment, 
together with a detailed brief. The black fourteen filed de- 
tailed briefs in opposition. On March 25, 1970, the district 
court entered its "Order Granting Motion to Dismiss, With 
Findings." This is reported as Williams v. Eaton, 310 F. 
Supp. 1342 (D. Wyo. 1970). The district court's Order was 
affirmed in all respects on appeal, but remanded to the dis- 
trict court for a factual determination as to whether the black 
fourteen were dismissed from the team because of their 
demand to wear the armbands during the game, observing 
that ". . . such close and delicate constitutional questions 
should be decided when the facts are fully developed at 
trial." I recall that in my closing remarks to the appellate 
panel, I said "When and if the time should come that it is 
permissible to protest or criticize any religion or any reli- 
gious beliefs on the playing field, that will be the time to 
terminate all NCAA athletic events." 

The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of all claims 
against the State of Wyoming under the doctrine of sover- 
eign immunity set forth in the Eleventh Amendment and 
the money damages claims against the individual defen- 
dants because they were sued in their official capacities. 

holding that the "action in essence is for the recovery of 
money from the state." 5 

Upon remand, various persons were placed under oath 
in depositions and an evidentiary hearing was held in the 
district court on September 27 and 28, 1971. Honorable 
Clarence A. Brimmer, Jr., was then serving as Wyoming 
Attorney General. The black fourteen were represented by 
the law firm of Graves, Smyth and Reeves. The fourteen 
presented the testimony of Willie Black, Melvin R. 
Hamilton, C. E. Hollon (adverse witness), Philip White, 
and Joseph R. Geraud (adverse witness), together with vari- 
ous exhibits. The state and university presented the testi- 
mony of William D. Carlson, Alfred M. Pence, Joseph R. 
Geraud and C.E. Hollon. The testimony was, for the most 
part, a "replay" of that presented at the November 10th 

Following briefing and arguments of counsel, the dis- 
trict court dismissed the black fourteen's lawsuit. The dis- 
trict court's findings of fact 14 and 15 were challenged on 
appeal by the fourteen. Findings of Fact 14 was that, based 
on all of the evidence, "there is no merit in the contention 
raised by the Plaintiffs . . . [that] the tone of the purposes of 
the black arm band display was that of protesting against 
the alleged cheap shots and name-calling charged to mem- 
bers of the Brigham Young University football team; on 
the contrary, the court finds that such allegation is 
without merit and that the sole and only purpose in the arm 
band display was that of protesting against alleged religious 
beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . 
. . and Brigham Young University, which the Plaintiffs con- 
sider one and the same, and the court further finds that each 
of the Plaintiff football players refused to participate in the 
football game with Brigham Young University as mem- 
bers of the football team of the University of Wyoming 
unless they were permitted to demonstrate against the reli- 
gious beliefs of the Mormon Church by wearing black 
armbands upon the playing field." Finding 15 was that each 
of the fourteen had refused to play football at Wyoming if 
Lloyd Eaton remained as Head Football Coach." 

The final chapter in the litigation was written by the 
United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, when it af- 
firmed the district court in Williams v. Eaton. 1 The court 

Summer 1996 

held that the district court's findings of fact were not clearly 
erroneous and on the legal issue involving the First Amend- 
ment, the court ruled: 

...we are persuaded that the Trustees' decision was 
lawful within the limitations of the Tinker case itself. 
Their decision protected against invasion of the rights 
of others by avoiding a hostile expression to them by 
some members of the University team. It was in 
furtherance of the policy of religious neutrality by the 
State. It denied only the request for the armband dis- 
play by some members of the team, on the field and 
during the game. In those limited circumstances, we 
conclude that the Trustees' decision was in conformity 
with the Tinker case and did not \ iolate the First amend- 
ment right of expression of the plaintiffs. . . . We do 
not base our holding on the presence of any violence 
or disruption... Instead, the trial court referred only to 
the mandate of complete neutrality in religion and re- 
ligious matters as the basis for the court's ruling* 

The black fourteen did not seek to appeal to the United 
States Supreme Court. Several years later. Judge Kerr in- 
quired of me why the fourteen had not accepted Coach 
Eaton's offer to meet with them at the courthouse on No- 
vember 10. I could only relate that Mr. Waterman, lead 
attorney for the fourteen had simply informed me that 
"There will be no such meetings." 

How different might have been the future for the black 
fourteen, the coaches and the university if only those play- 
ers had met with Coach Eaton, the assistant coach who had 
recruited them, and Judge Kerr on November 10, 1969? I 
have little doubt that the players would have been restored 
to the team, and the prospects for the program, the coaches, 
the university and all of the student-athletes in the football 
program would have been forever brighter. 

5 See Williams v. Eaton, 443 F.2d 422 (10th Cir. 1971). 

6 See Williams v. Eaton. 333 F. Supp. 107 (D. Wyo. 1971 ). 

7 468 F.2d 1079 (10th Cir. 1972). 
s 468 F.2dat 1084. 

The author is now a Senior Judge on the United 
States Circuit Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit. He 
lives in Cheyenne. 

First flight inaugurating 

contract Air Mail, 


route. 5:00 A.M., 

May 31, 1926, 

Cheyenne, Wyoming. 


A stand-up comedian, laughing 
it the hazards of changing planes in 
Denver, commented that those bound 
for heaven might also have to pass 
through the mile-high city. 2 The co- 
nedian did not know, however, that 
the Denver and Colorado business 
pommunity and political leaders had 
truggled for years to bring air trans- 
portation to the area. Throughout the 
1920s and 1930s, Denver's chief 
competitor had been Cheyenne. The 
securing of the major Trans-Missis- 
>ippi airline hub by Denver was 
lever a sure thing, but it eventually 
resulted from the serious efforts of a 
dedicated cadre of leaders in both the 
private and public sectors. It was a 
hard-fought effort, because at the 
time Cheyenne was the aviation capi- 
tal of the Rockies. By the beginning 
of the 1930s, however, the focus was 
shifting from Cheyenne to Denver 
and setting up the present air trans- 
port structure of the American West. 
This effort is the focus of this essay. 




City RJvalry and the 
Quest for Transcontinental 

Air Routes' 

by Roger D. Launius and Jessie L Embry 

Throughout the nineteenth century, 
trails, wagon trains, and stage lines 
passed through the northern Rocky 
Mountains as the nation expanded be- 
tween the Atlantic and the Pacific. ' Rail 
lines allowed Americans to travel across 
and to develop the Rocky Mountain 
West with greater felicity and efficiency. 
During the later third of the nineteenth 
century the transcontinental railroad 
passed through the Rockies, and the 
region's importance as a transportation 
center grew. After the linkage of east and 

west near Promontory Point, Utah, in 
1869, the proliferation of railways in all 
directions from the Union Pacific and 
Central Pacific tracks soon linked the 
intermountain west. 4 

Denver's place as a transportation 
center, however, has been a recent de- 
velopment. In the nineteenth century, 
planners for the transcontinental rail 
lines bypassed the Colorado capital be- 
cause of the difficulty of transiting the 
Rockies. John Evans, a promotor who 
arrived there in 1862, began to develop 

1. The authors wish toa< knowledge the assistance 
of grants from the American Heritage Center, Univer- 
sity hi Wyoming, I aramie, and the t ollege ol Family, 
Home, and Social Sciences at Brigham Young Univer- 
sity, Provo, Utah, to support research undertaken to 
unto this artk le 

2. This dialogue was trom an ait ot an unnamed 
comedian on "Short Attention Span Theater" on Com- 
aty General, |une 17, 1993. 

3. Considerable historical literature supports tins 
assertion See, Robert I Reigel <mi.\ Robert ( . Atheam, 
America Moves West (New "mrk: Holt, Rlnehart and 
Winston, 1971 1. Richard A. Bartlett, The Sew Country: A 
Social History of the American Frontier. /r~o 1890 (New 
York Oxford University Press, l l »74>. pp. 275-340; W 
Turrentine |ackson, "Wells largo's Pony Expresses," 
Journal of the West 1 1 (July 1972): 405-36; |ohn D. Unruh, 

|r , ///(■ Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the 
Trans Mississippi West, 1840-60 (Urbana: University of 

Illinois Tress, 1979), pp J02 

4. See I lie I as| Spike is I )n\ en" issue, Uliih His 

torical Quarterly 37 (Winter 1969); Oscar O.Winth< 
/ ransportation I rontier: Trans Mississippi West, 1865 1890 
i New V ork: Holt, Rineharl ami Winston, 1 964 1; Oscar O 
W'inther, Via Western I xpressand Stagecoach (Stanford, 
CA: Stanford Unnersits Press, [945); Mired ( handler, 
The Railroads The Nation's First Big Business (New "iork 
Harcourt, Brace and World, l^h2); Albro Martin, lunn^ 
I Hill and the Opening of the Northwest (New "iork 
Oxford University Press, 1976); William W. Howard, 
"A Picturesque American Railway," Harper's Weekly 
February 4, 1888 pp 78-79; Bartlett, The Sew Country, 
pp J27-40. 

Annals or Wyoming 
feeder lines. In the 1870s he, with the 
assistance of other entrepreneurs, 
backed the construction of the Denver 
Pacific from Denver to the larger and 
more prosperous transcontinental line 
anchor at Cheyenne, Wyoming, about 
100 miles north. He also fostered the 
construction of a line south, the Denver, 
Texas, and Fort Worth. He browbeat, 
cajoled, and occasionally stiff-armed 
business leaders in the Colorado Terri- 
tory to invest in the infrastructure re- 
quired to remake Denver/ 

^M' eanwhile Cheyenne was the 
| centerpiece of the transporta 
JL tion system in the Northern 
Rockies throughout the nineteenth cen- 
tury. Little more than a single house in 
July 1867, it was four years later a com- 
munity of some 3,000 people, a commu- 
nity created by the construction of the 
Union Pacific Railway as it moved west 
to link with the Central Pacific in Utah.' 1 
The construction of the Lincoln High- 
way, U.S. Highway 30, further solidified 
the city's place on the east-west trans- 
continental transportation system. 

Cheyenne leaders recognized the 
importance of travel to the region. The 
Wyoming Eagle reported in 1928: 

It was only a fezo slwrt years ago that the pio- 
neers who developed the West, came out of 
the east in their prairie schooners. Now we 
spin about in fast trains, automobiles, air- 
planes, covering quickly distances that used 
to require many days. . . . The West is fortu- 
nate that there has been no loss of the spirit 
that filled the hearts of our pioneer men and 
-women. The West is still the birthplace of new 
thoughts, new ideas, new purposes. 7 

This editorial included a new form of 
transportation - air travel. 

After the January 1910 Los Angeles 
airshow, thrill-seeking and business- 
promoting westerners began gushing 
about the possibilities of aviation in the 
West. Immediately following that 
highly successful show, other western 
city leaders booked the little French 
aviator Louis Paulhan and whoever else 
would fly in their communities for dem- 
onstrations." Denver was delighted 
when Paulhan agreed to come there af- 
ter the Los Angeles airshow. One com- 
mentator explained, "Denver is aviation 
mad." M Stories circulated about how 

Paulhan planned to circle Pike's Peak 
and to break the altitude record, a not 
insignificant challenge because of the air 
density of the mile high city. 1 " Captur- 
ing beautifully the idea of progress that 
aviation signaled for many westerners, 
the Denver Post editorialized the day 
before Paulhan's flight that in fifty years 
air travel would be as common as rail 
travel was in 1910 and that flight 
"should [provide] people [of] the future 
with dreams of many strange things."" 
Paulhan's exploits in Denver proved 
less than heroic. He had considerable dif- 
ficulty taking off in his fragile, underpow- 
ered, yellow biplane that bore a striking 
resemblance to a box kite, mostly because 
of Denver's elevation. It was frustrating 
to the audience. He finally made only 
six short flights of a few minutes each, 
failed to circle Pike's Peak, and crashed 
into the crowd, injuring three spectators. 
If he were the harbinger of a bright fu- 
ture based on aeronautical transporta- 
tion, it was lost on most of those present. 
Even so, more than 50,000 Denver resi- 
dents flooded Overland Park to see him 
fly, but when he took off, it was like a col- 
lective sigh of relief for the city. For Den- 
ver in 1910 just seeing flight was exciting 
enough. 12 One grand dame of Denver 
society summarized the perceptions of 
most residents as she left after the sec- 
ond flight: "I'm satisfied. ... I know now 
that flying is possible and that's what I 
went to find out. I wouldn't have cared 
if he had flown only one little time." 13 

F nterestingly, from these exception 
I ally rudimentary flights emerged 
JL speculations about the possibilities 
of air travel. "We are on the eve of a 
surpassing era in history, and " the Den- 
ver Post told its readers, "Paulhan is here 
in Denver as its herald." 14 Even after 
Paulhan crashed in his attempt to miss 
the crowd, and the paper declared, 
"Notwithstanding many disappoint- 
ments of the Paulhan's visit, the general 
opinion is that to see Louis Paulhan... 
added a new lyric to the sum of life's 
wonders [and] was worth all the admis- 
sion one might be able to pay. May he 
come again - and that soon." 15 

Denver was also interested in the 
coast-to-coast flyers coming to their city 
during a 1910 transcontinental race 
sponsored by William Randolph Hearst, 

the San Francisco publishing gia 
Hearst had put up $50,000 of pri 
money for any pilot who could fly cro 
country in less than thirty days. To c 
tice any takers to make the city a st 
on their transcontinental route, the D, 
ver Post urged the city to raise $10,C 
and offered the first $1,000 toward tl 
goal. With that beginning the city 
Denver also agreed to come up w 
$1,000. The paper declared, "It will 
the biggest, brightest feather ever 
Denver if this city is put on the line 
the first transcontinental aeronau 
tour." Accordingly, the next day's ne\ 
paper reported that if the planes got 
Kansas they might as well continue 
Denver, adding, "It's for the glory 
Denver" to be on the route. 16 No c 
won the Hearst coast-to-coast mon 
however, and no aviators took a roi 
through Denver. 

But Denver residents were still 
terested in air travel. In November 1< 
three Wright pilots, Ralph Johnsto 
Walter Brookins, and Arch Hoxs 
brought a flying circus to town. Crow 
flocked to see the birdmen, t 
Denverites and most of the aviati 
world were frightened when Johnston 
plane crashed during a spiral landi 
and Johnstone was killed. The Roi 
Mountain Herald reported, "In two s 
onds a space of 100 feet square had be 
cleared by fleeing humanity and t' 
seconds later the machine lay on t 
earth, spattered with the blood of I 

5. Bartlett, The New Country, pp. 419-21; How 
Roberts Lamar, The Far Southwest, 1846-1912: A Ter 
rial History (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1970), 

6. William Fraser Rae, Westward by Rail The i 
Route to the East (New York: Promontory Press, 1974 

7. Wyoming Eagle, September 21, 1928, p. 6. 

8. On this airshow see, Roger D. Launiusand Je 
L. Embry, "The 1910 Los Angeles Airshow: The Be 
nings of Air Awareness in the West," Southern Califo 
Quarterly, forthcoming Winter 1995. 

9. Denver Post, January 28, 1910, p. 5. 

1 0. Ibid., January 29, 1910, pp. 1 , 3; January 30, 1 
p. 2. 

11. Ibid., February 1, 1910, p. 18. 

12. Ibid., February 3, 1910, p. 5; February 3, 19K 
11; February 2, 1910, p. 1; Howard L. Scamehorn, " 
First Fifty Years of Flight in Colorado," Unwersit 
Colorado Studies, Series in History No. 2 (Boulder: I 
versify of Colorado Press, 1961), p. 102. 

13. Denver Post, February 2, 1910, p. 13. 

14. Ibid., February 2, 1910, p. 20. 

15. Ibid., February 4, 1910, p. 5. 

16. Ibid., June 2, 1910, p. 3; June 3, 1910, pp. 1,2; J 
2, 1910, p. 1. The best work on this exhibition is Eil 
F. Lebow, Cat Rodgers and the Vin Fiz: The First Trans: 
tinental Flight (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Inst 
tion Press,'l989). 


iver." Brookins contended that 
instone had not lost control, explain- 
;, "The machine collapsed, and that 
ill there is to it." 17 

lying in Denver was difficult be 
\ cause of the altitude. None-the- 
less, the Denver Press Club 
inned an aviation meet for April 1911 
it would include a car and aeroplane 
e, a flight to and from Fort Logan, and 
iol flying" stunts. 18 However, a ten- 
nute flight "constituted the whole 
>w." Representatives of the Press Club 
Gained that bringing the planes to the 
a was a gamble that had failed. The 
ltract promised one flight, and that 
s all that happened. Instead of disap- 
inting the crowd, the club canceled the 
ing show and took the financial loss. 1 " 
is failure did not eliminate flying at- 
ipts. For example, Philip O. Parmalee 
>v over the Garden of the Gods and 
itended that with onlv twentv-five 
ire horsepower he could have circled 
:e's Peak. In May 1911, a Colorado 
"ings newspaper explained, "The wil- 
"ness of air that lies between the foot- 
Is and the mountains has been ex- 
ired. its unknown dangers tested, and 
'ioneer of the air has come back and 
il with unaffected confidence that the 
ilanes yet- and soon to come- will ride 
i Peak." : " 

At the end of World War I, the rise 
aviation as a practical method of 
importation did not affect Colorado 
general and Denver in particular. As 
ler parts of the world were experienc- 
; rapid development in aeronautical 
lability Denver lagged behind. One 
lolar concluded: 

nver, the only city of the region flint might 
v developed aircraft manufacturing enter- 
;es, flying fields, mid active pilots on the 
:l of New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, 
3 too remote from the great population and 
ustrinl centers of the country. '' 

e presence of a few enthusiasts and 
3-moters was insufficient to place 
nver on the aviation map. It looked 

17. Rocky Mountain Herald. June 4, 1910, Clipping 
s, Denver Public Library. 

IS. Rocky Mountain Nexvs, April 21, 141 1. p 3. 

1 L > Ibid, April 23, mil, p. 3. 

20. Colorado Springs Gazelle, May 4, 191 1, Clipping 
s, Denver Public Library. 

to be a replay of the transcontinental 
railroad story. 

If Denver's leaders were slow to 
capitalize on the rise of aviation in the 
United States and to capture air routes 
for the city, the movers and shakers in 
Cheyenne were even less understand- 
ing.- For the most part, Wyoming turned 
its back on aviation before the end of 
World War I. Cheyenne businessman 
M.J. Berry called upon the Laramie 
Chamber of Commerce in 1910 to spon- 
sor an airshow, but arrangements failed 
for lack of funding. 21 To have stories 
about airplanes, the Laramie newspaper 
sent a reporter to a San Francisco air 
show in January 191 1 , 24 Later that year, 
the state's leaders made noises about 
luring some aviators seeking Hearst's 
transcontinental flight prize but in the 
end no planes flew over Wyoming. 2 " 

One reason behind the slowness 
with which both Denver and Cheyenne 
embraced air transportation was the 
general impracticality of the airplane 
until the latter 1910s. When the war 
began in Europe in AugList 1914 aero- 
nautical technology was rudimentary at 
best and useful mostly for thrill-seeking. 
World War I proved the practical nature 
of aviation. It prompted a series of tech- 
nological advances in airplanes them- 
selves, and almost as important, it 
helped to shift the cultural landscape 
toward greater acceptance of their prac- 
tical value. As a result the small, fast, 
maneuverable, and heavily-armed 
fighter emerged as a major component 
of the battlefield, while development of 
better airframes and engines made pos- 
sible the construction of large bombers. 
These larger, faster, and more reliable 
aircraft made directly possible the ap- 
plication of aviation to transportation 
activities in the postwar period. 2 " 

21. Scamehorn, "The First Fifty Years," p 17 

22. The early general history of aviation in Wyo- 
ming is discussed in Gerald M. Adams, "The Air Age 
Comes to Wyoming," Annals of Wyoming 52 (Fall 1980): 

23 Laramie Daily Boomerang, December 22, 1^10, p. 
1; July 2d, 1911, p. 1 

24. Ibid , [anuary 6, 191 I. pp !. 3 

25 Ibid.. August 31, 1911, p. 1. 

26. In this development see Richard P I lallion, Rise 
of the Fighter Aircraft, 1914-1918 (Baltimore: The Nauti- 
cal and Aviation Press, 1984); Lee B. Kennett, 77k Fire! 
Air War,19U-1918 (New York: The Free Press, 1991); 
fohn 11 Morrow, German Air Power in World War I 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982); A. R.Weyl, 
Fokker: The Creative Years (London: Putnam, 1965). 

Summer L996 
Throughout most of the West's his- 
tory, the federal government helped to 
developed transportation including 
both railways and highways. The gov- 
ernment also prompted aviation devel- 
opment in the Rockies. With new capa- 
bilities in military aviation wrought by 
World War I, the Aviation Section of the 
Army Air Service pioneered transconti- 
nental air routes throughout the West in 
late 1918 and 1919 from which Chey- 
enne benefitted. For instance, in Octo- 
ber 1919 the Arm v held the "First Trans- 
continental Reliability and Endurance 
Contest" with flights leaving each coast 
on a transcontinental race. Lieutenant 
Colonel Harold E. Hartney, who 
planned the contest, laid out a course 
directly across the heart of the nation 
between New York and San Francisco 
by way of Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, 
Omaha, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, and 
Reno. The 2,071 mile route had 29 con- 
trol stations, and 74 Army planes started 
in the event. 

eaving the two coasts on Wednes- 
day, October 8, 1919, the Army 
fliers faced harsh weather from 
the beginning. On Thursday, October 
9, an Army DH-4, which had survived 
blizzard conditions in the higher eleva- 
tions, crashed west of Cheyenne during 
a snowstorm. First Lieutenant Edwin 
V. Wales died in the crash and his part- 
ner, Second Lieutenant William C. 
Goldsborough, narrowly survived . The 
eventual winner of the contest, First 
Lieutenant Belvin W. Mavnard, left 
Roosevelt Field in New York at 9:00 a.m. 
on the morning of October 8 and arrived 
in Cheyenne on the evening of October 
9, 573 miles ahead of his nearest com- 
petitor. Maynard had to thaw out a fro- 
zen radiator before he could leave Chey- 
enne the next morning, but he arrived 
at the Presidio in San Francisco at 1:12 
p.m. On Saturday October 11, 1919. His 
flying time was 25 hours, lb minutes, 
and 47 seconds, and total time was 3 
days, 6 hours, 47 minutes, and 11 sec- 
onds. The planes, no longer in a race, 
then returned to their home stations 
via the same route. 27 This race ce- 
mented a transcontinental route for 
the U.S. Postal Service. 

Under the direction of Assistant 
Postmaster General Otto Praeger, the 

Annals or Wyoming 

Some DH-4s were fitted with sky runners for use in the 
horsh winters of the northern Rockies. 

agency had inaugurated air mail be- 
tween New York City and Washing- 
ton, D.C., on May 15, 1918. 28 Other 
routes followed quickly, linking cities 
along the Atlantic seaboard with Pitts- 
burgh, Cleveland, and Chicago. In 
February 1921, pressed by western 
bankers for the adoption of airmail to 
reduce the float times of checks mov- 
ing cross-country, the Post Office De- 
partment originated the first transcon- 
tinental mail 
system, a 
route be- 
tween San 
and New 
York via Salt 
Lake City, 
Omaha, Chi- 
cago, and 
Pittsburgh. 29 
for the esta- 
blishment of 
the route was 


secured through a slight-of-hand by the 
post office for fiscal year 1921 . 30 Then the 
Postal Service began to develop a 
standard course along the general path 
of the Union Pacific Railroad line. Those 
cities favored with stops had to have 
airfields and a pliant business 
community that would be willing to 
support the service. John A. Jordan, a 
field operative seeking the best route for 
the western part of the air mail system, 
visited several cities in 1920 for this 
purpose. The Postal Service induced 
Cheyenne's business community to 
provide a suitable field and hangars for 
the proposed air mail route. City leaders 
made $15,000 available for these 
facilities to ensure that Cheyenne 
became an air mail stop. The city leaders 
gleefully announced that Cheyenne's 
opportunity for a stop on the air route 
"turned Denver green with envy." To 
add insult to the situation, the Postal 
Service did not even visit Denver while 
developing the route. 31 

27. Air Service, "Report on First Transcontinental 
Reliability and Endurance Test" in Air Service Informa- 
tion Circular (Heavier-Than-Air), February 5, 1920, pref- 
ace; "Coastal and Trans-Continental Flights," U.S. Air\ 
Service 2 (September 1919): 20-22; Aircraft Year Boob 
(New York: Manufacturers Aircraft Association, 1919), 
pp. 336, 343; Aircraft Year Book (New York: Manufactur- 
ers Aircraft Association, 1920), pp. 269-70; Air Scrince 
News letter, September 23, 1919, p. 2; October 8, 1919,' 
pp. 2-4; October 18, 1919, pp. 1-3; October 31, 1919, pp. 
1-4; November 7, 1919, pp. 2-4; November 15, 1919, pp 
1-2; November 8, 1 91 9, pp. 9-1 2; November 25, 1919, pp 
14-15; December 13, 1919, p. 1; Belvin W. Maynard, 
"Most Dramatic Incident in My Flight," U.S Air Service 
2 (November 1919): 26; Ray L. Bowers, "The Transcon- 
tinental Reliability Test: Aviation After World War I," 
M.A. Thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1960; Mauer 
Mauer, Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919-1939 (Washing- 1 
ton, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1987), pp. 29-35. 

28. Flying 5 (March 1916): 53-59, 62-63; Annual 
Report of the Postmaster General, 1916 (Washington, 
DC: Government Printing Office, 1917), p. 46; Con-i 
gressional Record, 65th Cong. 2nd Sess., 13 May 1918/ 
p. 643; Aviation, April 15, 1918, p. 389; "Report or* 
Actions Taken by the Flying Branch in Regard to the 
Aerial Postal Route," April 11, 1918, Army Air Force 
Central Decimal Files 311.125, Records of the Army 
Air Force, Record Group 18, National Archives and 
Records Administration; Air Service Journal 2 (23 May 
1918): 727-743. 

29. The air mail has been discussed in several fine 
books. The best of these is William M. Leary, Aerial 
Pioneers: The U.S. Air Mail Service! 1918-1927 (Washing- 
ton, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985). See also 
Roger E. Bilstein, Flight Patterns: Trends of Aeronautical 
Development in the United States, 1918-1929 (Athens: 
University of Georgia Press, 1983), pp. 29-53. 



The DeHavelland 4-B was a standard aircraft for flying the mail in the 1 920s. World 

War I surplus equipment, the DH-4 (as it was called) was reliable but quickly 

became an obsolete aircraft for flights in the high Rockies. 

Even if they were willing to build 
facilities Cheyenne leaders did 
not have the property available 
for an airfield, and there was little like- 
lihood that they could meet the Septem- 
ber 1, 1920, deadline imposed by the 
Postal Service. For assistance, they 
turned to the War Department, prevail- 
ing upon it to make available a flat sec- 
tion of Fort D.A. Russell that had been 
used during the "First Transcontinental 
Reliability and Endurance Contest" the 
year before. At first, local army officials 
cooperated with the city, offering to en- 
large and improve the landing strip into 

30. A stretched argument about the air mail's abil- 
itv to supplement mil transport enabled postal offu ials 
to take almost $1.3 million out of railway appropria- 
tions in 1921 .in J use it to pay <iir mail costs See, Post 
Office Department Amount Expended tor Air Mail 
Service by Fiscal years," September 17, 1424, Records ol 
the I louse of Kepresent.iti\ es, Sele< I ( Ommittee of In- 
quiry into Operations of U.S. AirSer\ u e, Re< ord ( .roup 
233, National Archives 

31. U.S. Mouse of Representatives, Subcommittee 
of the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads, Hear- 
ings: Claims for the Construction of Hangars and Mainte- 
nance o) Flying Fields Air Mail Service (Washington, DX . 
Government Printing Office, 1923), pp. l '-27; Wyoming 
State Tribune, fanuary 8, 1920, 4, cited in Adams, "Air 
Age Comes To Wyoming," p. 21. 

a formal airfield. The commander ac- 
cepted a proposal to make it a joint 
Cheyenne- Army municipal airport. 
But the War Department balked, and for 
a time it appeared that the Postal Ser- 
vice might bypass Cheyenne in favor of 
another city, perhaps even Denver. 

At this moment Wyoming's pow- 
erful senior senator, Francis E. Warren, 
waded directly into the controversy. 
Between July 17 and 23, 1920, acting at 
the behest of the Cheyenne Chamber of 
Commerce, Warren participated in a 
flurry of discussions about the use of 
federal land under Fort Russell's care. 
Warren wired Secretary of War New- 
ton D. Baker about the matter on July 
17 and also sent a message to Otto 
Praeger asking him to intervene with 
the War Department: 

Second Assistant Postmaster General 
Praeger having in charge transcontinental 
aerial mail service, desires division head- 

quarters near Cheyenne (stop) The best pos- 
sible landing field would be in extreme I asl 
em part of Fort Russell reservation between 
the Post and city (stop) The Russell reser- 
vation contains nearly six thousand acres 
with no buildings or improvements other 
than outside fences on this part of reserva- 
tion near the proposed landing field of ap 
proximately two hundred acres (stop) The 
Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce consulted 
commander Tort Russell who ret ommended 
through military channels the use 0} this 
laud for location of hangars and landing 0) 
ships operated by Post Office Department 
(stop) This particular field especially adapted 
for any type of aerial service (stop) May I 
ask the favor of an early consideration and 
reply (end) 3 


Praeger discussed the matter with 
the secretary and Brigadier General 
C h. tries T. Menoher, Director of the Air 
Service. Writing to Warren, the War De- 

F.E. Warren to Otto Praeger, |uly 17. 1920, 
12. Wyoming State Tribune, March 2, 1920, p. l;Maj I etterpress Bool i to 5/5/21, p. lis. I ran< is I 

26, 1920, p I May 27,1920, p. I, all cited in Adams, Air Warren Papers, I }, American I leritageC enter, l rtiver- 
Age Comes to Wyoming," p 21 sityol Wyoming Laramie 

I i 

Annals or Wyoming 

partment responded that "While a land- 
ing field at Fort D.A. Russell would not 
be of any particular use to the Air Ser- 
vice at this time," the Army had no ob- 
jection to locating one there and would 
support the initiative. 34 Workers started 
grading the field and removing rocks at 
Fort Russell before the end of July. De- 
signers also had plans for constructing 
a hangar and other buildings, but Baker 
halted the work, arguing that the War 
Department might need the property for 
other purposes. Infuriated, Warren, a 
Republican, felt that Baker made his 
decision for partisan political purposes 
and had scored one for the Democrats 
while plotting retribution. Meanwhile, 
the clock was ticking on the Postal 
Service's deadline, and Cheyenne mu- 
nicipal leaders had to rush to find prop- 
erty and construct a rudimentary land- 
ing field. They decided to turn 200 acres 
of flat land about a mile north of the city 
center into an airfield. Initially it was 
financed by local and county govern- 
ment and contributions from the Cham- 
ber of Commerce. Warren was later able 
to secure reimbursement for this invest- 
ment from the federal government. 35 

In July 1920 Otto Praeger, the Postal 
Service's "Father of the Air Mail," 
fixed September 1 as the official 
starting date for transcontinental air op- 
erations. He appointed Andrew R. 
Dunphy, a former Marine and as tough 
a manager as anyone could want, to take 
charge of the Omaha-Salt Lake City sec- 
tion of the route. Dunphy, who made 
his headquarters in Cheyenne, was in 
charge of ensuring that fields, aircraft, 
pilots, spare parts, and other resources 
were ready to support the operation. 36 
About the same time Praeger also 
directed James Clark Edgerton, one of 
his chief assistants, to establish a radio 
network between the new western air 
mail stations. Edgerton acquired six 
kilowatt (kw) generators to power 2 kw 

arc transmitters and SE-1420 receivers 
by trading the Air Mail Service's linen, 
used to repair aircraft, for surplus items. 
Edgerton also visited each city on the 
route and persuaded the civic leaders 
to donate facilities for the radio stations. 
In return he promised to provide them 
with emergency communications. 
Edgerton found that all the community 
leaders were pleased with this arrange- 
ment. "Each success induced others," 
he wrote. "In what had become a tri- 
umphal procession, the publicity pro- 
ceeded me as my journey took me from 
city to city along the transcontinental 
[route]. Within ten days all work was 
in progress." 37 

In spite of these efforts, Praeger had 
to delay his September 1 inauguration 
of transcontinental air mail service. But 
on September 8 two pilots took off from 
the Cheyenne field on the eastern and 
western legs of the route. Relaying mail 
between aircraft like the Pony Express 
of sixty years earlier, the first air mail 
arrived at Cheyenne on September 9. 
An Army pilot, Lieutenant Buck 
Hedron, flew a De Havilland DH-4 air- 
craft on the Cheyenne-Salt Lake City 
route. By September 11 the first air mail 
from the East had reached San Fran- 
cisco. Perhaps Aerial Age Weekly, a 
booster periodical, summarized the 
event best: "September 8, 1920, will go 

down in history as the great day when 
the epoch-making event, the first trip 
of the transcontinental aerial mail, 
took place." 38 

During the weeks following the 
inauguration of the transconti i 
nental route through Chey- 
enne, hazards arose that showed that the 
effort was more experimental than op- 
erational. Daily operations over the for- 
bidding terrain of the Cheyenne-Salt 
Lake City segment was especially chal- 
lenging. From Cheyenne at 6,000 feet, 
pilots had to climb to 9,000 feet above 
sea level, to cross the Laramie Range 
thirty miles westward. Crossing the 
Continental Divide, they usually fol- 
lowed the Union Pacific tracks through 
the narrow mountain passes. After a re- 
fueling stop at Rock Springs, these pi- 
lots, flying in open cockpit Jennys or De 
Havilland aircraft, had to cross the rug- 
ged Wasatch Range into Salt Lake. This 
part of the flight required a minimum 
altitude of 12,000 feet, at which height 
sudden snowstorms, erratic winds, sub- 
zero temperatures, and mountain peaks 
still hindered flights. Only the most dili- 

37. James Clark Edgerton, "Horizons Unlimited," 
in possession of Edgerton Family, Miami Springs, 
Florida, as quoted in Leary, Aerial Pioneers, p. 120. 

38. Aerial Age Weekly, September 13, 1920, p. 5. 

34. Otto Praeger to F.E. Warren, telegram, July 
20, 1920, p. 453; Oscar Westover, Exec, to Gen. 
Menoher, to Otto Praeger, July 21, 1920, p. 473; Otto 
Praeger to Senator F.E. Warren, July 23, 1920, p. 473, 
all in Letterpress Book 9/27/19 to 5/5/21, Francis E. 
Warren Papers. 

35. Wyoming State Tribune, July 28, 1920, p. 1; July 
30, 1920, p. 3. 

36. Otto Praeger to C. A. Parker, June 23, 1920, 
Personnel Files, Howard M. Garney, Division of Air 
Mail Service, Records of Post Office Department, Record 
Group 28, National Archives. 


Johnnie Woodward was the first fatality in Cheyenne, 
Salt Lake Division, November 8, 1920. 

Air Mail Field, Cheyenne, Wyoming, ca. 1922. 

gent efforts could bring the mail to its des- 
tination over such terrain/ 4 Pilot James 
F. Moore expressed the sentiments of 
many flyers when he wrote to the air 
mail's Chief of Flying that the route "from 
here [Cheyennel to Salt Lake City is a 
good one to kill the men that you seem 
to have a grudge against or want to see 
out of the way." 40 

The death of air mail pilot John P. 
Woodward on November 7, 1920, dem- 
onstrated the hazards of winter flights 
between Cheyenne and Salt Lake City. 
He crashed during a winter storm near 
Tie Siding, Wyoming, while enroute to 
Cheyenne from Salt Lake City. 41 Most 
pilots had better luck, although accidents 
still took place. James P. Murray left Salt 

39. A.K. Lobeck, Airways of America: Guidebook No. 
1 (New York: Columbia University, The 
Press, 1930), pp. 105-108; U.S. AirMail Service, Pilots' 
Direction*: New York-San Frttticisco Route (Washington, 
DC: Government Printing Office, 1921), pp, 17-20. 

40 lames F. Moore to D.B. Colver, November 30, 
1920, Air Mail Service Personnel riles, Moore, Record 
Group 28, National Archives. 

Lake City on October 18, 1920, airbound 
to Cheyenne. He crossed the Wasatch 
front without incident, but after passing 
Rock Springs he encountered a blinding 
snowstorm. Realizing that massive Elk 
Mountain lay ahead but not being able 
to see it, Murray tried to gain altitude. "I 
gradually climbed the machine full en- 
gine," Murray wrote, "until I felt it stall- 
ing [at] the treetops [on the mountain] not 
more than fifty feet away." He could not 
climb or turn to miss Elk Mountain, so 
he had to settle for a crash-landing. Al- 
though his DH-4 was demolished, 
Murray was not seriously injured. He 
wandered eastward through the forests 
for several days, eventually finding a 
road. From there he walked to Arling- 
ton, Wyoming, and help. 42 

In spite of these hazards, Cheyenne 
became the focal point for transcon 
tinental air travel in the central 
Rockies, and gradually the transconti- 

nental route became more routine and 
less hazardous during the mid-1 920s. 
The lone pilot who dressed in a leather 
flight suit and sat in an open cockpit 
battling the elements to deliver the mail 
was romantic but inefficient. To increase 
efficiency, the Postal Service emphasized 
safety and reliability as well as expand- 
ing operations during this era. Its lead- 
ership added immeasurably to flying 
operations. To make night operations 
possible, Otto Praeger began a concerted 
effort to light air fields and build emer- 
gency landing sites. Under Praeger's 
direction, Charles 1. Stanton, an assistant 
in the Air Mail Service, established mini- 
mum lighting requirements for all air 
mail stations: a 500-watt revolving 
searchlight, projecting a beam parallel 
to the ground to guide pilots; another 

41 Deserel I truing News, December 22, 1920; I earv. 
Aerial Pioneers, p. 255. 

42. James P. Murr.n to Andrew K. Dunphv, (V t<>- 
ber 20, 1920, Air Mail Service, Personnel Files, Murray, 
Record Group 28, National Archives. 


Annals o! Wyoming 

Airline stewardesses in front of Boeing Air Transport, n.d. 

search light projecting into the wind to 
show the proper approach; and aircraft 
wingtip flares for forced landings. 
Stanton also noted that landing fields 
should be at least 2,000 feet by 1,500 feet 
to allow plenty of room for landings. As 
a final safetv device, the requirement for 
a searchlight to be mounted on airmail 
airplanes was appended to Stanton's set 
of requirements. 4 ' 

Night flying also required more ef- 
fective navigational aids than the seat- 
of-the-pants approach air mail pioneers used. As early as 1921, the Postal 
Service stressed the placement of light 
beacons along the air mail routes to 
guide pilots. A little later radio beacons 
were placed on certain parts of the 
transcontinental route emitting direc- 

tional signals. It took many years before 
the route on which Cheyenne sat re- 
ceived radio beacons. As late as 1933 
only certain parts of the eastern routes 
had these advanced instruments. 44 At 
first the city marked the landing field 
with huge bonfires but within a few 
years the federal government installed 
electric lights there and on other stop- 
ping points along the route. 4, 

I ust as the Union Pacific elected to 
travel across Wyoming, the post of- 
fice routed the air mail routes across 
t state, avoiding the much higher 
mountains. As a result, Cheyenne rather 
than Denver became the important ter- 
minal in air mail stop at the base of the 
Rockies. Wyomian Alfred W. Lawson, 
an inventor of multimotored planes, 

43 1/ S (March 1921) 1 I l<>.( hnslu- 

phcrV Pfc kup >• »< RtoPraeger, Mir. h Jl, 1 921, Air Mail 
Service, < leneral ( lasaifled Re ords, 1918 1925, Record 
Group 28, National Archives 


ii /; 5 i" Service, 5 (March 1921): 3-11; I obeck, 
Airways o) America, pp 186-89 

15 / aramie Boomerang, February 23, 1921, p I 

even bragged that Cheyenne would 
soon be on a "super transcontinental air 
line," and that Denver would cease to 
be an important city in the West because 
it was left off the route. 4 ' 1 By the sum- 
mer of 1927 Cheyenne had been firmly 
incorporated into the nation's transcon- 
tinental air transportation structure. 
This ensured, as Cheyenne leaders con- 
cluded, that the region was "tending 
toward becoming a unified territory 
having intercommunication of the swift- 
est kind with its own inhabitants daily 
experiencing the thrill of seeing the 
Rockies and the Coast between sunrise 
and sunset. " 47 

Because of the city's past success as 
an aviation center and confidence in the 
future of air transport, Cheyenne 

46. Wyoming I agle, Man Ii 28, 1926, p. 1. 

17 [bid.,Januarj I I, l l >27, p. 9; September 21, 1428, 
p l; Boeing Air Transport lm , Sail I tike City Weekly 
Newsletter, April 14, \ < ->2h, p. 2, copies in l touglasWilsoi 
( nllii linn. American l leritage Center, 



1 QQ6 

Boeing Air Transport, Inc. hangar, Cheyenne, Wyoming, February 10, 1930. 

ers moved in the latter part of the 1920s 
to enhance the usage of the municipal 
airport. Western Air Express and Boeing 
Air Transport were using the municipal 
field extensively for transcontinental 
passenger and freight business. Boeing 
also planned to expand its operations, 
and in 1929 it engineered a deal to lease 
the airport for its use. 48 Not everyone 
approved of the plan, however, and 
Cheyenne mayor C.W. Riner called a 
special meeting to discuss the lease. He 
maintained, "I am just as much opposed 
as anyone to granting a monopoly on 
the Cheyenne field .... there are some 
who misunderstand the plan of the 
lease." He added that the city was 
maintaining the best hangar site for 
itself and that while Boeing's air mail 
transport would have the right of way, 
so would other mail routes from other 
airlines. He concluded, 

48. Wyoming Eagle, April 25, 1929, p. 1. 

We want the Boeing people to centralize in 
Cheyenne. It is the biggest thing we have 
had for years. The class of men and the busi- 
ness itself is one of the very best. The busi- 
ness is now is now in its infancy. Eventu- 
ally it will be a big thing to the city. 49 

The editor of the local newspaper 
and most of the city's business commu- 
nity eventually approved the decision, 
summarizing their rationale thus: 

In going ahead with such an extensive pro- 
gram for immediate future in connection 
with their establishment of Cheyenne as the 
base of its operations, some idea ofiuhat the 
future holds in store for this city along this 
line, may be had when one appreciates that 
while commercial aviation has made almost 
unbelievable strides in the past few years, it 
is just now really getting started. 50 

By 1930 it appeared that Cheyenne's 
important place on the transcontinental 
route was secure. Although it pained 

local pride to admit it, Denver leaders 
were forced to concede that Cheyenne 
"became one of the most important avia- 
tion centers in the world with the per- 
manent establishment of the operating 
and maintenance headquarters of 
Boeing Air Transport." 31 In 1931 a 
Boeing pilot called the Cheyenne "air 
capitol of the west." 52 This position 
came largely because of the efforts of the 
federal government to solidify the 
nation's air transport structure during 
the Hoover administration. President 
Herbert Hoover's Postmaster General, 
Walter Folger Brown, was especially 
committed to developing a logical na- 
tional air route structure "that went 
from somewhere to somewhere." 
Brown worked to establish three trans- 

49. Ibid., June 28, 1929, pp. 1, 8. 

50. Ibid., August 23, 1929, p. 8. 

51. Denver Post, December 31, 1929, p. 12B. 

52. Wyoming Eagle, April 25, 1930, p. 6; July 3, 1921, 
p. 1; June 13, 1930, p. 1; September 18, 1931, p. 2; March 
10, 1936, p. 1. 


Annals ol Wyoming 

continental air routes, each with hubs 
and smaller regional routes operating 
to the north and south. One was 
roughly parallel to the old Union Pa- 
cific-Central Pacific Railroad lines. 
However, in trying to reconstruct the 
system under the existing regulatory 
system, he had reached a dead end and 
could onlv proceed in 1930 after pas- 
sage of a law that allowed him to re- 
shape the air route map. 53 

Armed with this new legislation, 
Brown assumed near dictatorial pow- 
ers over the airmail system. His first 
priority was a reduction in the number 
of competitors. What emerged from 
this effort were four major continental 
airlines - United Air Lines, TWA, 
American Airways, and Northwest Air- 
ways - operating an integrated trans- 
continental route system. That Brown 
did so without competitive bidding and 
that in the process he destroyed the live- 
lihood of several small carriers mattered 
neither to most westerners nor to very 
many in the public. What most per- 
ceived was an almost immediate order- 
liness to the aviation industry in the 
West." 4 Many agreed with Nevada 
Senator Patrick A McCarran when he 
commented that Brown "was a public 
official who had a certain idea about 
how a certain matter should be carried 
out... even in the face of the law as it 
was written. ,/S5 

Cheyenne benefited directly from 
this heavy-handed approach to 
systematizing the national avia- 
tion structure. In July 1931 four major 
transport companies, including Boeing, 
joined to form United Air Lines, and it 
took over the central transcontinental 
route through the city. United became 
one of the "largest air transport 
companies] in the world.""* Within a 


This map reproduced from the cover of "National Aeronautics" 

illustrates Denver's strategic location with reference to the nation's 

airways. Proposed routes indicated by dotted lines. This map was 

included in a flyer distributed by Peters, Writer & Christensen in 1940. 

53 K I G. Da vies. Delta: The Illustrated History of a 
Major U.S. Airline and the People Who Made ll (Mi.imi: 
Paladwr Cress, 1990), pp. 12, 20, 22, 34; Heniy Ladd 
Smith, Airways The History of Commercial Aviation in the 
United States (New York Alfred A Knopf, 1942), pp. 
156-66; Ko^rr I) Launius <inJ |essie I.. Kmbry, "Fledg- 
ling Wm^ Aviation ( omes i<> the Southwest,1910- 
1930," NewMexicoHistoricalQuarterly70Qamiary 1995) 

^4 Fins evenl is i ritical in the development ol the 
.urline industry For more information on Brown's ef- 
forts see, Nidi A Komons, Bonfires to Beacons: Federal 
and Civil Aviation Policy under the Aii ( ominene Act, 
[Washington, IK Federal Aviation Admin- 
istration, I978),pp l l 'l 21 h, Smith, Airii'<M/-,pp 167-96. 

Vi ' ongresskmal Record, 73d Cong., 2d sess., p. 7000. 


couple of years Cheyenne was recog- 
nized as one of the most "important air 
aviation centers between Chicago and 
Oakland."" 7 When travel increased with 
routes from El Paso, Texas, to Billings, 
Montana, the local newspaper declared, 
"Cheyenne stands today as one of the 
most important air bases in the nation 
and the outstanding aviation center 
west of the Mississippi river.'"™ With the 
movement in 1934 of United Air Lines' 
repair facilities to Cheyenne the corner 
on the regional air transport market 
seemed secure. In 1936, Roscoe Turner 
told Cheyenne residents that "in his 
knowledge no other city in the county 
with a similar population is so impor- 
tant an air transportation center/ 759 

Despite this stature, as early as 1930 
Cheyenne leaders began to see their 
city's aviation power slipping to Den- 
ver. To prevent such a shift, the Chey- 

56. Wyoming little, July 3, 1931, p. 2; September 18, 
1931, p. 2. 

57. Ibid., October 27, 193.3, p. 4. 

58. Ibid . May ll, l l '"U, p- 1. 

59. Ibid , May 18, 1934, p B;June 1,1934, p.l; January 
1 1 I936,p 19; laramie Boomerang, April 16, 1936, Frontier 
Piles, American Heritage Center; lander Evening Post, 
Man h 3, 1936, Frontier Files, American I leritage c inter; 

Wyoming State Tribune. I.uui.irv 13, 1936, RoSCOe I timer 
Papers, Box 95, American Heritage Center. 

enne Chamber of Commerce asked Post 
Office officials if there were plans to shift 
the air mail route to Denver, noting that 
if so there were many problems flying 
over the higher mountain peaks near 
Denver. Representatives of the post of- 
fice replied that they had no plans to 
change the air mail route. 60 

With ten years of hegemony as 
air transport queen of the 
northern Rockies, however, 
Cheyenne leaders had reason to be con- 
cerned. By 1930 the Denver business 
community was committed to wresting 
a fair measure of air transport business 
from Cheyenne. To do so they proposed 
building a "world class" airport that 
would attract lines to transit their city. 
As in other communities throughout the 
United States, the Denver Chamber of 
Commerce was the most important in- 
gredient in this move. It organized an 
aviation committee and began agitating 
for the construction of a new airport. 
The chamber's leaders complained that 
people in the East felt the west's "moun- 
tain geography" was "a very hazardous 

W). Wyoming la^le, October 17, 1930, p. 1. 

aeronautical country" and encouraged 
the city to obtain land for airport con- 
struction.' 11 The chamber also published 
pamphlets promoting Denver as an "air 
center," and it successfully lobbied the 
postmaster general to expand the air mail 
route structure to include Denver. "We 
have concluded that if this line were ex- 
tended it would serve Denver business 
in a material way and give great impetus 
to the development of aeronautics in the 
mountain states territory," said the 
Chamber of Commerce." 2 

Mayor Benjamin F. Stapleton was 
determined that air travel would not 
bypass Denver as the railroad had done 
in the nineteenth century. Largely be- 
cause of his efforts, the city completed, 
in 1929, a new airport that was as fine 
as anything in the intermountain West. 
At the airport dedication, the program 
explained that the airport would 
"meet... even anticipate" the growth of 
air travel and to prevent the "Queen 
City of the Prairies" from being "left and 
dry." The airport was one of the finest 
in the nation, according to the report, 
and as a result, "It is a safe assertion to 
say that the next few months will wit- 

ness the new airport [as] a hub in a great 
wheel of transport lines, through which 
travelers from all directions will pass, 
transfer and land." 63 

The Rocky Mountain News declared 
that after one year of operation 
the new airport was already pay- 
ing its way, despite not being a part of 
the main transcontinental route through 
the region. With the traffic and flying ser- 
vices already housed there, the airport 
even needed a new hangar. The news- 
paper braggeci that the Denver airport 
was one of only two Class A- 1 - A airports 
in the United States and called the growth 
of services "phenomenal." Despite the 
onset of the "Great Depression," the avia- 
tion business was growing because of 
"the natural advantage of the West as a 
field for commercial flying." 64 

Denver's Chamber of Commerce 
boosted the use of its airport through- 
out the early 1930s as a much more at- 

61 . Minutes of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, 
August 18, 1928, and January 22, 1929, Denver Public 

62. Ibid., October 7, 1928 and October 12, 1928. 

63. "Dedication of the Denver Municipal Airport 
Program," 17-20 October 1929, Benjamin F. Stapleton 
Collection, carton 2, folder 58, Colorado Historical Soci- 
ety; Lyle W. Dorsett, The Oucen City: A History of Denver 
(Boulder: Pruett Publishing Co., 1977), p. 207; Stephen 
J. Leonard and Thomas J. Noel, Denver: Mining Camp to 
Metropolis (Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 
1990), pp. 429-30. 

64. Rocky Mountain News, February 22, 1921, sect. 1, 
p. 2; January 1, 1931, p. 30, Clipping Files, Denver 
Public Library. 

Summer 1996 
tractive hub than any other in the region, 
especially that offered by Cheyenne. It 
lobbied the government for favorable 
decisions on air routes and tried to in- 
duce carriers to use the Denver airport 
as a major terminal. The city expanded 
the length and strength of its airport 
runways, added a $1 million terminal, 
and improved other facilities as induce- 
ment to users." s It also encouraged Colo- 
rado legislators to promote additional 
air mail routes between Denver and 
such places as Casper and Billings, ar- 
guing, "The great Rocky Mountain Re- 
gion insists upon the same degree of 
Federal recognition that is afforded to 
more populated areas that lie closer to 
the seat of Government.'" 1 ' 1 

The aviation committee also pro- 
moted greater flying services for Den- 
ver. In 1934 Denver millionaire T.E. 
McClintock explained that Denver had 
better aviation facilities than other cit- 
ies in the region, had more business us- 
ing air transport, and consequently re- 
quired a central place on the East- West 

65. Jeff Miller, Stapleton International Airpwrt: The 
First Fifty Years (Boulder: Pruett Publishing Co., 1983), 
pp. 44-47. 

66. Denver Chamber of Commerce to William R. 
Eaton, January 6, 1932, quoted in Minutes of the Denver 
Chamber of Commerce, March 1, 1929; April 29, 1929; 
April 18, 1930; and November 5, 1930. 

United Air Lines 

Building, Cheyenne, 

Wyoming, n.d. 


Annals oi ^fyoming 

route. I le stopped just short oi suggest- 
ing that Cheyenne should be eliminated 
as a stop on the transcontinental route, 
but he was adamant in demanding that 
I rtited provide better airline service for 
the "largest city in the Rockies. In re- 
sponse to Nik h complaints, airlines serv- 
ing Denver agreed to add more ad- 
vanced planes on the routes through the 
city, cutting the flying times to major 
hubs such a> Cheyenne, which after that 
would be only thirty-five minutes. B In 
1934 the chamber also petitioned tor a 
direct night flight between Denver and 
Kansas City, arguing that the only con- 
nection then available was through 
Cheyenne. This route slowed business 
transactions and prevented the growth 
of both the city and the airline system. 
The ploy of the symbiotic relationship 
worked, and Denver got its direct flight 
to Kansas City. 

Every one of these successes 
strengthened the position of 
Denver over Cheyenne in aero- 
nautical circles. At the same time, 
Cheyenne's leadership seemed to lose 
grasp of the need to maintain itself as 
an aviation center in rivalry with Den- 
ver. Many complaints began to surface 
in the early 1930s about the lack of sup- 
port for aviation among Cheyenne resi- 
dents. For example, in 1934 one United 
pilot criticized the management of the 
Cheyenne airport. 

Talkabout slipshod, dizzy air transport 
< orporations- the Wyoming gang is the 
limit, he said. They do not know what it is 
all about, no communication, they never 
know ship arrival time till they land and 
then usually there is no one around to meet 
the ship. 

When United moved its repair 
shops to Cheyenne, some employees 
complained that the landlords of the 
community jacked the rents up far too 
high for the new arrivals, gouging them 
so much that several employees sent 
their families back to their old homes. ' 

top: The Clark GA-43 (1934) flown over intermountain routes, 
at Denver Municipal Airport. 

bottom: In 1934 Army Air Corps Capt. Ira C. Eaker 
takes a flight in the Rockies. 

67 Minutes of the Denver ( hamberof( ommi 
February 27. i 

Ibid . Man h 
Ibid . |uly 18, 

II \ Burgess to Andy, |um • 1934 H \ Bur- 
1 ollei bori ( hamber oi ( om 

Regional I listor) ( enter, l niversity ol 
Southern < aliibrnia, I os Angi 


Summer 1 l ) c )(") 

By the time of the 1936 regional meet- 
ings of the National Association of Avia- 
tion Officials in Cheyenne, Robert 
Hansworth, the secretary of the Chey- 
enne Chamber of Commerce, had a dif- 
ficult time trying to "prove to visiting 
officials that Cheyenne is truly an 
airminded city. " 71 

By 1937, fed up with the perception 
of ill-treatment in Cheyenne, airline of- 
ficials were receptive to the most heady 
air transport proposal ever made by 
Denver leaders, the detour of the United 
route at North Platte, Nebraska, from 
Cheyenne to Denver. 73 A United Air 
Lines official came to Denver to discuss 
the matter, and the business community 
"win[ed] and din[ed]" him. In the end, 
he said, United was willing to detour 
one each of the four daily eastbound and 
westbound flights through Denver 
rather than Cheyenne. But he added, 
"United wants to make it clear that it 
wants to work in harmony with Wyo- 
ming Air Lines in the development of 
more business out of Denver." Simul- 
taneously, United emphasized that the 
new service would be "supplementary 
noncompetitive flight" and "would 
stimulate business. " 74 

When the new direct service, in ef- 
fect stolen from Cheyenne, began in 
May 1937, Denver residents turned out 
to see the first United Air Lines planes 
arrive in town. Just like in the days of 
the Denver air show in 1910, the city 
sponsored a parade that "depicted 
transportation progress from the days 
of the Indian and trapper down to the 
present." The Post exhaustively and 
enthusiastically covered the event, quot- 
ing travelers' glowing reports of the 
city's airport and weather. 73 The City's 
residents were no less spirited in their 
response when later that same year Con- 
tinental Airlines established a headquar- 
ters in Denver for its Denver to El Paso 
route. 7b Denver's leaders also induced 
the establishment of a north-south line 

71. Wyoming Eagle, November 9, 1934, p. 8. 

72. Ibid., January 11, 1936, pp. 1, 18, 19. 

73. Minutes of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, 
January 6, 1937 and April 30, 1937. 

74. Denver Post, January 16, 1937, Clipping Files, 
Denver Public Library; Rocky Mountain News, April 7, 
1936, p. 3. 

75. Denver Post, May 16, 1937, sect. l,p. 1, Clipping 
Files, Denver Public Library. 

76. Rocky Mountain News, November 30, 1937, Clip- 
ping Files, Denver Public Library. 

■ dBtri ■ 


• : ■ z 

Top: Interior of United Air Lines B-247 plane 

Bottom: The revolution in air transport is epitomized in the 1930s by the 

DC-3, shown here on a route flown by American Airlines. Because of the 

capability of this type of aircraft, Cheyenne was no longer needed as a 

stop on the transcontinental air route. 


Annals oi Wyoming 

between Canada and Mexico via Den- 
ver in 1937. They emphasized the natu- 
ral advantage of paralleling a natural 
north-south travel route to the East of 
the Rocky Mountains. 77 

Denver's Chamber of Commerce 
remained aggressive after these 
successes. In November 1938 
it invited T.E. Braniff and other officers 
oi Braniff Airways to expand service 
with a Kansas City-Denver run. Conti- 
nental and United also increased opera- 
tions on the same route. 78 In every case, 
Chevenne lost air transport services 
when Denver gained them. Mayor 
Stapleton unabashedly stated his senti- 
ments about this city rivalry: "We 
should determine what new air routes 
Denver wants and go after them vigor- 
ously." 71 ' Stapleton supported the bid of 
United Air Lines to begin a route be- 
tween Des Moines, Kansas City, To- 
peka, Salina, and Denver. He was 
clearlv delighted when United pro- 
posed staging this route's pilots and 
planes out of Denver. 80 

In 1 938 Denver's Chamber of Com- 
merce boasted, "Within a few years the 
great bulk of transcontinental air travel 
originating in foreign countries will 
come thru Denver" and "Denver stands 
high on the list of cities with important 
airports that should have the finest and 
most modern equipment." 81 People 
from the National Guard, the University 
of Colorado, and the Denver Chamber 
of Commerce formed a committee in 
February 1939 to promote Denver 's and 
Colorado's quest to be the "air hub of 
the West." 82 Their dreams were not far 
off. Many new routes passed through 
or emanated from Denver in the latter 
1930s and early 1940s. Army Air Corps 
Colonel Charles A. Pursley, who visited 
Denver in 1940 to survey facilities for 
possible national defense activities, im- 
mediately voiced the opinion that there 

was "unlimited possibilities . . . and new 
expansion" for the city. Braniff leaders 
found that the city "provides wonder- 
ful flying conditions and we want to 
take full advantage of Denver's growth 
so far and its future growth right up to 
and including becoming the nation's 
aviation center." Gill Robb Wilson of the 
NAA diplomatically stated, "Denver 
has as great a future in aviation as any 
city in the nation." He went on to praise 
the airport and the climate for flight 
training. 81 The Rocky Mountain News 
carried a slogan "Make Denver the 
Nation's Air Center." Steadham Acker, 
Denver businessman and aviation pro- 
moter, summarized the perspective of 
many city leaders: "More than any other 
city, Denver is dependent upon modern 
transportation for its expansion. The 
city should be airconscious for this rea- 
son; expansion of air facilities will cre- 
ate a better Denver." 84 

By the beginning of World War II 
Denver had supplanted Cheyenne as 
the aviation hub at the foot of the Rocky 
Mountains, though the Wyoming city 
remained a transit stop for United until 
the 1960s. Denver did so for several rea- 
sons. The most important was the 
proactive nature of the Denver business 
community in building a fine airport 
and inducing airlines to use it while the 
Cheyenne leadership was more compla- 
cent in accepting the given of the early 
transcontinental route. In that siting, 
Cheyenne's location on the Union Pa- 
cific and the generally favorable situa- 
tion of passes through the upper Rockies 
gave it an early advantage. In contrast, 
Denver's leaders expended consider- 
able capital and played an effective po- 
litical game to establish the city as a 
crossroads of air routes. This condition 
resulted both from location and circum- 
stance and from the farsightedness of 
several residents who exploited oppor- 
tunities to establish permanent facilities 

and infrastructure, charter commercial 
aviation companies, and make the most 
of military requirements in this area. 85 
Denver's leaders were aided in this 
process by non-related technological ad- 
vances in aviation. The early geographi- 
cal advantage enjoyed by Cheyenne was 
first circumscribed and then made alto- 
gether obsolete by the development of 
new aircraft that could fly at higher al- 
titudes and did not have to be concerned 
with mountain peaks of 10,000 feet or 
more. The development of technologi- 
cally advanced aircraft designs in the 
1930s allowed safer, more economical 
operations even in taxing mountain con- 
ditions. The aeronautical technology 
revolution of the 1930s -especially mani- 
fest in the Boeing 247 and DC-3 all- 
metal, multi-engined transports allowed 
more rapid and sustained expansion of 
aviation in the central Rockies surround- 
ing the larger and prosperous city of 
Denver where the mountain peaks had 
long been a problem. 8 ' 1 In this environ- 
ment, the old transcontinental route be- 
gan to recede in importance. 

Then there was the question of city 
size and amount of market for air 
routes. In 1940 the population of 
Denver was a city of more than 100,000 
people while Cheyenne was less than 
40,000. Just from the standpoint of a 
population base from which to draw 
travelers, Denver was the more attrac- 
tive site for a major hub. At the same 
time, with the development of more 
advanced aircraft that could fly higher 
and farther, there was less need to main- 
tain a staging location for plane servic- 
ing and fueling in such smaller cities as 
Cheyenne. Beginning in the 1940s, only 

77. Minutes of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, 
October 21. 1937, <ind November 10, 1937 

78 Rocky Mountain News, November 11, 1938, Clip- 
ping files, Denver Public Library; Minutes of the Den- 
ver t hamber of Commerce, July 28, 1938. 

79 Minutes of the Denver Chamber of Commerce, 
October 12, 1918 

80. Ibid . October 14, 1938; November 10, 1938, 
November 22, 1938; January 13, 1939, March 21, 1939; 
Pueblo Chieftain, January 20, 1939, Clipping Files, Den- 
\ it Public Library 

81 Denver Post, August 11, 1938, p. 20. 

82 Ibid., February 20. 1939, p 28. 

83. Rocky Mountain News, July 7, 1940, p. 1. 

84. Ibid., June 21, 1941, Clipping Files, Denver 
Public Library 

83 This has been seen repeatedly in the develop- 
ment of aviation centers. See also, Roger D. Launius, "A 
Case Study in Civil-Military Relations: Mill Air Force- 
Base and the Ogden Business Community, 1934-1945," 
Aerospace Historian 35 (Fall/September 1988); 154-63; 
Roger D. Launius, "Crossroads of the West: Aviation 
( nines to Utah, 1910-40," Utah Historical Quarterly 58 
(Spring 1990) 108-30; Roger D. Launius, "World War II 
Aviation in the Rockies: From Natural to National Re- 
source," ]oumal Of the West 32 (April 199.3): 86-93. 

86. Laurence K. l.oftin, |r., Ouesi tor Performance: 
The Evolution of Modern Aircraft (Washington, DC: Na- 
tional Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1985), 
pp. 77-101; Frank Cunningham, Sky Master: The Story of 
Donald Douglas and the Douglas Aircraft Company (Phila- 
delphia: Dorrance and Co., 1943); Jeffrey A Fadiman, 
"Dreamerof the Drawing Board: Donald Wills Douglas 
( 1892- 1981 )," in Ted C. Hinckley, ed , business I ntrepre- 
neurs in the West (Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University 
Press, 1986), pp. 83-93; Barrett Tillman, "Douglas Air- 
craft: Armorer of Naval Aviation," Journal of the West 30 
(January 1991): 58-68; Douglas |, Ingrlls. Vhe Plane that 

Changed the World: A Biography of the DC-3 (Fallbrook, 

CA: Aero Pub., 1966); Douglas [, Ingells, The McDonnell 
Douglas Story (Fallbrook, CA: Aero Pub., 1979); John B. 
I-'.m ( limb to Greatness: The American Am raft Industry, 
19 !0 I960 « ambridgc. MA: MIT Press, 19(,8) 

87. Air Service Requirements 0} Denver, Colorado (New 
York: JC Buckley Inc., 1954). 


Summer 1996 
major cities would have stops on the 
transcontinental lines. Smaller cities 
such as Cheyenne could at best boast of 
good feeder lines that took passengers 
to hub terminals. Accordingly, while 
Denver's airport had 12,089 passengers 
boarding, disembarking, or chang- 
ing planes in 1940, that number 
had grown to 243,437 in 1950. 
Cheyenne's numbers took a cor- 
responding tumble during the 
decade. 87 Without question, 
Denver's position as a regional me- 
tropolis was linked to its securing a 
place as the Rockies' travel and trade 

Both Denver and Cheyenne would 
continue to compete for business 
and tourism in a variety of ways 
after World War II, but it was at best an 
uneven rivalry. Leaders in each city 
foresaw something of the potential that 
aviation held and hoped and worked to 
incorporate it into the various sectors of 
their economies and societies. Each city 
would have successes and failures dur- 
ing the years that followed. The at- 
tempts to attract aeronautical enter- 
prises and military aviation and the 
spectacle of airshows and extravaganza 
were a part of the continuing contest. 
After the end of World War II, however, 
that competition eventually died away 
until Cheyenne was at best a side trip 
on the aeronautical map of the United 
States while Denver became the hub 
through which almost everyone travel- 
ing across the continent had to pass. 

Roger D. Launius is NASA chief 
historian. Jessie L. Embry is assistant 
director at the Charles Redd Center for 
Western Studies, Brigham Young University. 

This article was designed by Melinda 

Letter dated July 3, 1 940 from W. 

Robert Dubois, manager of the 

bond department at The Stock 

Growers National Bank in 

Cheyenne,to Ed Warren, mayor of 

Cheyenne, regarding the 

bond circular below. 

Both documents are from the 
Wyoming State Archives, Division of Cultural Resources. 


Out of Obscurity: 

A Look at 
the Life of 

Of all the fabled locales connected 
with the Rocky Mountain fur trade 
none is more recognizable than Jack- 
son Hole, nestled below the dra- 
matic peaks of the Grand Tetons 
in northwest Wyoming. The sce- 
nic area was named in honor of 
David Jackson, a fur trader who 
passed through the area as early as 
1825 and possibly up through 1830. 
However, by an ironic twist of fate 
this adventurer has remained lost in 
the shadows of anonymity. 

Color miniature of David E. Jackson. Hays 

Collection, American Heritage Center, 

University of Wyoming 

David E . 


Field Captain of the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Trade 

Jackson has been the most enigmatic of 
the prominent members of the mountain man fra- 
ternity and subsequently, has received scant rec- 
ognition in the literature about the Rockv Moun- 
tain fur trade. Most early fur trade historians were 
baffled why prominent mountain men Jedediah 
Smith and William Sublette included Jackson as a full part- 
ner when thev bought out William Ashley in July 182b, even 
though Jackson's name and signature appear on the sale 
document. Part of this historical oversight is due to the 
fact that there was apparently no biographical data about 
Jackson or information covering his contributions to the 
fur trade. Jackson himself left few personal records about 
his adventures. In the 1960s Carl Hays wrote an article 
about Jackson for a multi-volume work on the fur trade 
edited by LeRov R. Hafen. Hays' account is brief and does 
not include information on Jackson's early life. 1 Later, fur 
trade historians Dale Morgan and Don Berry came to ap- 
preciate Jackson's pivotal role as a partner in the Smith, 
Jackson and Sublette fur trading firm, but thev failed to 
recognize his contributions to our knowledge of geogra- 
phy or provide any information about his life prior to 1826 
or after he left the fur trade in 1830. A closer examination 
of his exploits in the Rockv Mountains and Southwest re- 
veals that he made numerous contributions to the fur trade 
and western settlement. 

By Vivian L. Talbot 

David Edward Jackson was born to Edward and 
Elizabeth Jackson on October 30, 1788, in the western 
fringes of Virginia along the Buckhannon River (now in 
Upshur County, West Virginia). Said to be a large baby, 
Jackson would eventually grow tall and lean, much like 
his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Cummins, who came 
alone to America from England in the late 1740s and later 
married a "diminutive" man of Scotch-Irish descent, John 
Jackson, whom she met while crossing the Atlantic. 2 
Jackson's mother died just short of her thirty-second birth- 
day but not before presenting Edward with three sons 
and three daughters. Of these, one son, Jonathan, would 
be the father of General Thomas Jonathon "Stonewall" 

l.Carl D W I [ays, "David E lackson," in LeRoy K Hafen, ed. Mountain Men 
and the Fur Trade of the Far West, vol. S (Glendale, California: A. 11 Clark Co . 

1465-1972), pp. 215-44. Hays withheld much information concerning lackson m 
this article because he was preparing to write a book on his subject. 1 lowever, he 
died before completing the project Another family member, John C Jackson, tlie recipient ol 1 lavs' material A year after I completed by masters thesis 
on David Jackson, John Jackson's book, Shadow on the Tetons was published in 
1993 by the Mountain Press Publishing Company in Missoula, Montana In 
addition to some of the material 1 employed tor my research the author also 
made extensive use of Hudson's Bay Company records and added his own 
judgements and interpretations regarding the character and contributions of 
some of Daeid Jackson's associates 

2 Roy Bird Cook, The Family and Early Life of Stonewall Jackson (Richmond, 
Virginia: Old Dominion Press, Inc., 1925), p. is, Dorothy Davis, lohn George 
Jackson (Parsons, West Virginia McClain Printing Company, 1976), p 1 


Annals or Wyoming 

Map by Eileen Skibo 

David Edward Jackson was born in the western fringes of Virginia along 
the Buckhannon River (now in Upshur County, West Virginia). 

signed to be a recruiter for his regiment 
and all seems to have gone well the first 
few months of his enlistment. Comment- 
ing about the many irregularities among 
the officers, his colonel reported Jackson 
for disobedience of orders and suspicion 
of gambling away the recruitment money. 
The colonel concluded that Jackson was 
"totally incapable of ever making an of- 
ficer."" However, in a later affidavit 
David's wife testified that he returned 
home because of illness. This could have 
been the case, but the tenor of his com- 
manding officer's letter indicates that the 
morale of the whole regiment must have 
been quite low, and it is possible that Jack- 
son decided to give it all up. From his 
earlier attempts to become involved in the 
war one gets the impression that he was 
hoping for some action and perhaps be- 
ing a recruiter did not offer the fulfillment 
he anticipated. The result of his colonel's 
letter, however, was that Jackson was 
dropped from the roles of the 19th Infan- 
try Regiment on May 10, 1814. 

Jackson. Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Brake then 
added nine more children to the Jackson family. In 1801, 
when Jackson was entering his teens, Edward moved his 
burgeoning family still fifteen miles farther west to a site 
just north of present-day Weston, West Virginia. In addi- 
tion to farming, the family operated Jackson's Mill on West 
Fork, a branch of the Monongahela River, just north of 
Weston. Certainly Jackson, working beside his father and 
other Jackson relatives in farming, milling, and survey- 
ing, acquired some valuable skills that would stand him 
in good stead during later pursuits. 

On November 2, 1809, Jackson married Juliet T 
Norris. The Norrises came to the Weston area from 
Facquier County, Virginia. Juliet's father saw extensive 
service during the Revolutionary War, being present at 
the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. 1 Juliet was 
almost five years older than David. To this union four 
children were born - sons Edward John (known as "Ned") 
and William Pitt, and twin daughters Nancy and Mary, 
born while David was serving in the military. 4 

Jackson saw limited and undistinguished military 
service during the War of 1812. He, his brother Jonathan, 
and their cousins anxiously tried to become a part of the 
action, joining militia groups and even attempting to form 
a mounted riflemen's unit. Jackson was to have served 
as their cornet, or standard bearer, but there is no record 
of this groups being accepted for duty. s There is, how- 
ever, some evidence that he might have associated him- 
self with the Ohio Militia as an ensign for a three month 
enlistment. He finally joined the regular army on Au- 
gust 10, 1813. Jackson's military service was less than 
what he or the military expected, however. He was as- 

Like many of the men in his family, Jackson 
seems to have been of an independent nature 
and, throughout the rest his life Jackson was 
plagued with a large dose of wanderlust. 
Following the War of 1812 he took two of his 
father's slaves to his brother, George, then residing in Ste. 
Genevieve, Missouri, and never returned to his family 
home again. 7 Jackson was free to satisfy his enterprising 
spirit and seek his fortune farther afield, while younger 
siblings took over managing the family property. Jack- 
son wished for his family to join him, but they never did, 
possibly because Juliet was reluctant to part with family 
ties and familiar surroundings in western Virginia or be- 
cause of a marital rift prior to his leaving. Whatever the 
reason, Jackson involved himself in farming and land 
speculation, and possibly even lead mining in Missouri 
until 1822 when his life took a dramatic turn. It was prob- 
ably not William Ashley's famous newspaper ad for "100... 
enterprising young men" that enticed Jackson up the 

3. Sons of Revolution in the Slate of West Virginia (Wheeling, West Virginia: 
West Virginia Society, n.d.), p. 75. 

4. Elmer Jackson, Keeping the Lamp of Remembrance Lighted (Hagerstown, 
Maryland: Hagerstown Bookbinding and Printing Company, Inc., 1985), p. 20. 

5. Henry Haymond, History of Harrison County (Morgantown, West Virginia: 
Acme Publishing Company, 1910), p. 225. 

6. Capt. John Miller to Col. John B. Walbach, April 20, 1814, David E. Jackson 
Documents, Dale Morgan Papers, copy at Marriott Library, University of Utah; 
original at Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. 

7. Jackson, Ijnnp of Remembrance, p. 45. 

8. Hays, "Jackson," p. 217. Hays mentioned that it was possibly a Masonic 
association that brought the two together. Not until December 1830 (eight years 
later) did David become a member of the Masonic lodge in Missouri, but he did 
associate himself with this fraternal order while still in Virginia. (Minutes of the 
Ancient F : ree and Accepted Masons, Tucker Lodge No. 13, Grand Lodge of 
Missouri, Columbia, December 27, 1830 and December 28, 1830.) 


Missouri, but a friendship between him, or his brother 
George, and the seasoned fur trader Andrew Henry, 
Ashley's field partner. 8 Most fur trade historians believe 
Jackson, like James Clyman and Thomas Fitzpatrick, 
joined the venture in 1823. However, in April 1822 his 
brother attested that to his brother's future trip: 

/ have this day agreed to take David E. Jacksons stock of 
Cattle and Horses and to keep them for the term of three 
years or until his Return from the Expedition that he is 
about to take up the Missouri/ 

The plan for the Ashley-Henry firm in 1822 was for 
Henry to take men, including Jackson, to the mouth of 
the Yellowstone River and establish a fort. To avoid con- 
frontations with the feared Blackfoot Indians Henry was 
not going to send them much further up the Missouri 
River. Later that fall or the following spring of 1823, a 
trapping party would be sent south and west following 
the Yellowstone River to its bend and then cross over- 
land to the beaver-rich Three Forks of the Missouri. 1 " But 
when William Ashley arrived that fall at the completed 
fort with additional men and supplies, he learned that 
Henry had lost most of his horses and some merchandise 
to the Assiniboine Indians en route up the Missouri. 
Ashley, too, had experienced some difficulties which ul- 
timately cost the firm $10,000 in lost cargo. However, 
Henry's men were able to send some beaver pelts back 
with Ashley when he returned to St. Louis to prepare 
another expedition for the following spring in 1823. 

During that 1822-23 winter most of Henry's group 
remained at the fort on the Yellowstone while the rest, 
including Jackson's future friend and partner, Jedediah 
Smith, wintered farther west on the Musselshell River. 
Additional horses were lost by this group, and some of 
them were killed by Blackfeet the following spring, thus 

Summer 1996 
delaying the planned departure to the Three Forks. 
Knowing that his partner was on his way up the river, 
Henry sent Jackson and Smith to inform Ashley about 
his need for additional horses. After receiving this news, 
Ashley made a trading stop at the Arikara villages at the 
confluence of the Missouri and Grand rivers. Being aware 
of the Arikara's fickle relations with white traders, Ashley 
took some precautions before going ashore and opening 
negotiations for horses with the tribe. All went well until 
early the following morning of June 1, 1823, when 
Arikaras attacked Jackson and other men on a wide sand- 
bar beneath the villages. Confusion and pandemonium 
followed as the Ashley men retreated into the river and 
attempted to return fire. The rest of the story concerning 
the Arikara incident has been well covered in fur trade 
literature. 11 Smith returned to the new fort, and informed 
Henry that Ashley needed help. The partners' combined 
parties joined the abortive counterattack of the "Missouri 
Legion" under the leadership of Col. Henry Leavenworth. 
The whole affair was a costly incident in fur trade history 
in both monetary and human loss. 

The Arikara incident delayed the expedition, and, if 
their firm was to survive, Ashley and Henry still had to 
realize something from the coming fall hunt. With the 
upper Missouri effectively closed to them a new routine 
of hunting and trading needed to be developed which 
would become the remarkable innovation in fur trade 
history - the rendezvous system. 

9. Affidavit of George Jackson, April 1822, Jackson Documents. 

10. St. Louis Enquirer, April 13, 1822, n.p. 

1 1 . See Hiram M. Chittenden, The American Fur Trader of the Far West (New 
York, 1935); Don Berry, A Majority of Scoundrels (Sausalito, California: Comstock 
Editions, Inc., 1961); Dale L. Morgan, Jedidiah Smith and the Opiating of the West 
(Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1953); Dale L. Morgan, ed., The West of William Ashley 
(Denver: The Old West Publishing Company, 1964). 

Crow Indians 



Wyoming State Archives 


Annals ol Wyoming 

With a minimum oi supplies and horses, two groups 
belonging to the firm left Fort Kiowa tor the Rocky Moun- 
tain^. Between them, over the next two years, either sepa- 
rately or jointly, the two brigades covered a great deal of 
territory and accomplished much. They began by return- 
ing to the old post on the Yellowstone, closing it up and 
building a now fort at the mouth of the Big Horn River. 
Next, they established relations with the friendly Crow In- 
dians when they wintered among them along the Wind 
Ki\ cr in present Wyoming. One of the brigades rediscov- 
ered South Pass, trapped tor beaver along the Green and 
Bear Rivers, and followed trappers of the Hudson's Bay 
c ompanj into northern Montana. Ashley/Henry employ- 
ees wintered in present Cache Valley, Utah (then called by 
the trappers Willow Valley) and in July 1825 all the trap- 
pers met William Ashley's newly arrived caravan in south- 
ern Wyoming on Henry's Fork of the Green River where 
the first Rockv Mountain rendezvous took place. 1. 

After the one-day affair, the firs were loaded 
onto stock, and about fifty of the moun- 
tain men accompanied Ashley to a navi- 
gable point on the Big Horn River, where 
he put the pelts on boats to be carried 
down the Big Horn, Yellowstone and finally the Missouri 
rivers to St. Louis. About half of this contingent, includ- 
ing Jedediah Smith who bv this time became Ashley's new 
partner after Henrv quit the business the previous year, 
went down the river with their boss. The remaining men 
took the unloaded horses and headed back to the west- 
ern slope of the Rockies, trapping in the waterways as 
they went. M During this time a close association devel- 
oped between David Jackson and Bill Sublette. Albert 
Gallatin Boone, a trapper who accompanied the 1826 sup- 
ply caravan to the west, wrote, "He [ Ashleyl left his party 
near the great Salt Lake, under Jackson and Sublette, and 
took out our party to reinforce them." 1 The severity of 
the winter of 1825-26 caused the trappers to move their 
tamp from Cache Valley to the Salt Lake Valley. 

I ho following spring the trappers were divided into 
three groups for a season of exploration and trapping. 
[ackson and Sublette led one group north and west to 
and beyond the Great Salt Lake. According to a notation 
on an early map of the southwestern Idaho/northern 
Utah/eastern Oregon area, Jackson and some of the men 
ranged all over the western portion of the Snake River 
(then called Lewis Fork) and its tributaries, travelling as 
tar west as the Owyhee River, which comes into south- 
western Idaho from Oregon. Peter Skene Ogden of the 
I [udson's Bay C ompany was told of this group of Ameri- 

cans by the Indians and speculated they were on their 
way to Fort Nez Perces." 1 The information gleaned by 
Jackson and his men during this 1826 expedition was a 
major contribution to the early geographical knowledge 
of the area, and their very presence in what was referred 
to as "Oregon Country" kept the U.S. interests alive in 
that region. 17 

Some oi the Jackson and Sublette brigade explored 
the area around the Great Salt Lake for twenty-four days. 
Wtih four men on the lake itself, they tried to ascertain 
whether or not it had a western outlet leading to the Pa- 
cific Ocean, the fabled Rio Buenaventura. IS With the 1826 
spring hunt over, all of the trapping parties returned to 
Cache Valley where thev met the westward bound cara- 

J J 

van under Ashley and Smith's leadership. This event 
proved to be another pivotal juncture in Jackson's life. 
At the conclusion of about two weeks of exuberant activ- 
ity and merriment an important meeting took place on 
July 18, 1826. Robert Campbell, who came west for the 
first time with the caravan and who would later be a close 
friend and business partner of Sublette, wrote: 

After we {Ashley, Smith, and Campbell] left Cache Valley, jack- 
son and Sublette met us on the Bear river. Ashley then sold out 
his interest in the fur trade to Smith, his partner, and to ]ack- 
son and Sublette, the new firm being known as Smith, Jackson 
& Sublette [hereafter referred to as SJSJ.'" 

The new partners promised to buy the merchandise 
left from the 1826 caravans, which was estimated to be 
worth $16,000, and to order their supplies for future ren- 
dezvous from Ashley. Ashley in turn agreed not to outfit 
any "other company or Individual with Merchandize other 
than those who may be in his immediate service." 20 In the 
new venture, Smith invested the $5,000 owed him by Ashley 
from the dissolution of their old partnership. Jackson and 
Sublette jointly invested a little over $3,000. While schol- 
ars of the fur trade have often questioned Jackson's involve- 
ment with the other two men because of their lack of infor- 
mation concerning his prior activities, it is clear that he was 
an integral part of their financial success. For the next four 
years a truly convivial partnership was formed. The three 
men had individual strengths and destinies that would 
enhance and enrich the whole. 

Following the rendezvous, according to Campbell, 
"Smith, Sublette, and Jackson divided up the country 
between them."- 1 Jedediah Smith began the first of two 
famous treks to the Southwest below the Great Salt Lake, 
eventually ending up in Southern California before he 

1 2 Fort Kiowa was lo< ated on the west bank ol the Missouri Rh er between 

the Bad and tin- White rivers. Although these men started nut with few hordes, 
thej were able to trade foi . sto< k later as they moved west. 

li Fred R Cowans, Rocky Mountain Rend I History of the Fw Trade 

•■' mi, 1 t. ili Gibbs-Smith Publisher, 1985), pp. 17-18. 
1 his is ih<- best siiuri e bonk. dealing spe< iln ally will) llii' reiule/\ mis 
I I Moi hlru. p I 

1^ Ibid., p KJ3 footnote 299 Boone provided this information to the New 
York Craphii in a letter dated January 8 IS77. 

16 See portions of Ogden's journal in Morgan hley,p 1 17 

17. Tlu- map, with its accompanying notation, is the Smith-Fremont-Gibbs 
Map and .i copy is contained in the pocket of the book, Dale L. Morgan and Carl 
I. Wheat, Jedediah Smitli ami Hi- Map* o) tin- American Wcsf (San Francisco: 
American Geographical Society, I4S4). 

18. Morgan, Wr>l o) Ashley, p. 148. Citing Beveral contemporary sources, 
Morgan recounts tins exploration 

i i » A Narrative ol c ol. Robert ( ampbell's I xperiences In tin- Rocky Moun- 
tains I ur rrade from 1825 to 1835 (Dictated to William Fayel in 1870)," p. 5, 
Missouri Historical Society, Si l ouis. 

20 Articles Ol Agreement between Smith, [ackson and Sublette, July 18, 1826, 
Sublette Papers, Missouri I llslorn al Soi letv. St. I ouis. 

21 "( ampbell Narrative," p. 7. 

Summer 1 W() 

Map by Eileen Skibo 

Above: David E. Jackson's trading routes from 

1822 to 1832. 

Right: Jackson Lake by Hans Kleiber. 








Annals o! Wyoming 

began working his way back to the Rockies. The other 
two partners continued north up the Bear River and 
crossed over to the Snake River. Campbell wrote: 

Jackson and Sublette with myself ascended the Snake river and 
tributaries near the Three Tetons and hunted along the forks of 
the Missouri, following the Gallatin, and trapped along aero** 
the headwater-* of the Columbia. 22 While following this 
course, the brigade came upon the wonders of 
Yellowstone National Park, reaching it by way of Two 
Ocean Pass. 

The group once again wintered in Cache Valley. 
Sublette and Moses "Black" Harris left the valley on Janu- 
ary 1, 1827, to take an order for supplies to Ashley in St. 
Louis, an indication that the fall hunt was considered 
successful. More importantly, a pattern developed in 
which Jackson functioned as the firm's field captain and 
held the group together during the winter and spring 
hunts, while Sublette usually made the trip to the East 
for supplies. Smith, meanwhile, was exploring far afield, 
presumablv to look for new areas to hunt beaver. His 
wanderings provided invaluable geographical knowl- 
edge for further western settlement, but the firm never 
benefitted financially from Smith's explorations. 21 

In the summer of 1827, after being in the mountains 
for five years, Jackson accompanied Sublette and the fur 
caravan to Missouri. On October 1, 1827, the two men 
met William Ashley in Lexington, Missouri. At their 
meeting, Ashlev signed a quit claim acknowledging pay- 
ment in full owed him by SJS and sent another outfit with 
them back to the mountains. 24 

The winter was a disaster for the firm. While Jack- 
son and Sublette were in Missouri, Robert Campbell was 
left in charge. Campbell was a relative new-comer to the 
mountains, and in sharp contrast to Jackson, he lacked 
Jackson's knowledge and experience. Consequently, un- 
der his command, twelve SJS men were killed and more 
than $20,000 in horses, merchandise, and furs were lost 
as a result of Indian depredations. During the years un- 
der Jackson's command no men were ever killed. 

During the next two years Jackson travelled 
extensively in the mountains. He directed 
trapping excursions up to and beyond 
HBC's Flathead Post into present north 
ern Montana where in 1829 he met his 
partner Jedediah Smith returning to the Rockies after 
Smith's two disastrous trips to the West Coast. Jackson 
ranged as far east as the Powder River where he and Smith 
joined their brigades to winter in 1829-30. For his final 
trapping season Jackson returned to the area he knew 
well, "Snake country" in present southern Idaho and 

western Wyoming. At the rendezvous site at present 
Riverton, Wyoming, a contemporary recorded that Jack- 
son arrived "with plenty of beaver." 2 " 

At the rendezvous the three partners tallied up their 
profits for the year and were gratified to see it was the 
best year yet. At the same time, for various reasons, they 
decided to quit the Rockies. Perhaps they wanted to get 
out while they were ahead. The powerful American Fur 
Company was beginning to make serious inroads into 
the Rockv Mountain trade. Both Smith and Jackson had 
some family concerns that needed to be addressed. 
Sublette was destined to come back, but Jackson and 
Smith never did. On August 4, 1830, the firm of Smith, 
Jackson and Sublette ceased to exist and the Rocky Moun- 
tain Fur Company came into being, composed of part- 
ners Thomas Fitzpatrick, James Bridger, Milton Sublette, 
Henry Fraeb, and Jean Gervais, some of the more capable 
SJS brigade leaders. 

When assessing Jackson's contributions to SJS and to 
the fur trade in general, Don Berry sized up this enig- 
matic individual: 

Finn, silent, almost anonymous Davey Jackson was the real back- 
bone. He was the trapper par excellence; he didn't make history, 
he didn't explore terra incognita, he didn't lose men right and 
left. He wasn't much interested in politics, he had no grandiose 
ambitions. But seasoti after season after season he quietly brought 
into rendezvous the furs that kept SIS in business.'" 

Jackson's profits after eight years in the fur trade to- 
talled about $28,000, a tidy sum for the early 1800s. The 
adventures and enterprises in which he would be engaged 
for the remainder of his life would not prove as lucrative. 

The former partners left the mountains in August and 
arrived in St. Louis on October 10, 1830. Jackson and 
Sublette formed a new firm for the purpose of supplying 
future rendezvous, but soon set their sites on Santa Fe. 27 
Thanks to their earnings in the Rockies, they had suffi- 
cient capital to invest in the venture. However, it is not 
clear why this decision was reached. Perhaps a few 
months in St. Louis was enough civilization for the trio. 

26. Berry, Scoundrels, p. 246. 

22. Ibul 

21 Smith's forays into unknown territory ultima tcly i osi t he Smith, |.u kM>n 
and Sublette firm more than it re» eived Some <>i the families ol the more than 
two dozen nun killed while travelling with Smith later brought suits against the 
company and only |a< kson and Sublette wen- Mill alive to answer their i laims 

24 Quitclaim from Ashley to Jackson & Sublette, August I, 1827, Sublette 

2^ Beny, Scoundrel-., pp 2S2-S1; Morgan. Smith, pp 314-15, 

James Bridger 

Western History Collection. 
University ot Oklahoma 




SM SB^^^B. 

LissT 4 im 


1 ]■ wM .! 1 - •_ fl l 

HsWl 1 i 

A li if ViLv 

vm V flf 1 


bummer 1996 

1 V • '• 

Drawing by Eileen Skibo. 

David Jackson and his partners head to the rendezvous site at present Riverton, Wyoming. 

Smith could have thought the Santa Fe trade would be 
just the enterprise to help his younger brothers become 
involved in business since both Peter and Austin ended 
up going with the caravan to New Mexico. Also, Milton 
Sublette, one of William's younger brothers and a part- 
ner in the newly-formed Rocky Mountain Fur Company, 
had some experience with the fur trade in the southwest 
beginning in 1826. It is possible he could have had some 
influence on his older brother's decision to give the south- 
west a try. 28 

In order to go, Jackson himself had personal matters 
to settle. Before the local masonic lodge in Ste. Genevieve, 
Missouri, Jackson presented a petition for initiation into 
that brotherhood. There was an urgency to take care of 
his request because "it is represented that he is about to 
leave the State." A committee was appointed that very 
evening and after some discussion, "since the petitioner 
has been many years well known to most of the mem- 
bers of this Lodge, as an honorable man and a good citi- 

zen," they gave Jackson a favorable report to the mem- 
bership as a whole. A vote was taken and he was initi- 
ated as a Mason in "the first Degree." The very next night, 
December 28, two more ballots were taken and Jackson 
was raised to the second degree and then to the third de- 
gree or a Master Mason. 29 

Perhaps a deciding factor in the decision to go to the 
Southwest indirectly involved the new Rocky Mountain 
Fur Company which Jackson & Sublette had agreed to 
outfit. 30 When its representative, Thomas Fitzpatrick, did 
not arrive in St. Louis by the agreed upon date, Jackson 
and Sublette figured they could sell their wares in Santa 
Fe. Fitzpatrick finally reached Missouri in early May 
when he met the caravan in either Lexington or on the 
road west to Independence. Since the group was, by then, 
committed to go to Santa Fe, it was suggested that 
Fitzpatrick accompany them and upon arrival in Santa 
Fe they would outfit him for a return to the mountains. 
This Fitzpatrick agreed to do. 31 

27. Dale Morgan's theory is that Jedediah Smith initiated the dissolving of 
the Smith, Jackson & Sublette partnership, because Jackson and Sublette imme- 
diately formed a new firm. Smith had also just received the news about his 
mother's death from letters brought to the 1830 rendezvous by Sublette. In some 
of Smith's letters to this family, he expressed concern about the welfare of his 
father and younger brothers, so he probably saw the need for business activities. 
In addition, he had been successful during the 1829-30 hunt, thus making up for 
some of his lack of productivity during the previous two years when he 
contributed little monetarily to the partnership. See Morgan, Jedediah Smith, pp. 

28. Da vid J. Wever, The Taos Trappers: The Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, 1540- 
1846 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971), p. 146; Morgan, Jedediah 
Smith, p. 239. 

29. Minutes of the Tucker Lodge, December 27, 1830, and December 28, 1830. 
Jackson must have remained active in this lodge until his departure for Santa Fe 
and California because in the lodge minutes of March 21 he signed himself as 
secretary protem. 

30. When the three partners bought out William Ashley in 1826 it was agreed 
that an express would be sent to Ashley in St. Louis by March of 1827 to confirm 
their order for supplies for the 1827 rendezvous. Dale Morgan speculates that 
the same arrangements were made between Jackson & Sublette and the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company. See Morgan, jedediah Smith, p. 321. 

31. See Gowans, Rendezvous, p. 61; LeRoy Hafen, Broken Hand: The Life of 
Thomas Fitzpatrick (Denver, Colorado: The Old West Publishing Company, 
1931), pp. 94-95; Sunder, Bill Sublette, p. 95 


Annals Ol Wyoming 

Scotts Bluff National Monument 

William Henry Jackson's Fur Traders Caravan. Rocky Mountain fur traders' train leaving St. Louis (1830) to open 

the first wagon road to the edge of Old Oregon. 

The travelers had reason for optimism because it was 
common knowledge that the Santa Fe trade was growing 
in importance. Josiah Gregg, who traveled just one month 
behind Jackson's caravan, later wrote that from 1822 to 
1831, investment in merchandise had risen from approxi- 
mately $15,000 to $250,00GV 2 The usual merchandise car- 
ried to Santa Fe were cotton and woolen goods and gar- 
ments, and light hardware. Returning caravans usually 
brought back horses, mules, beaver pelts, buffalo robes, 
and most important, specie. These Mexican silver coins 
helped put Missouri on a sound monetary basis/" In ad- 
dition, those Americans participating in the Santa Fe trade 
brought back valuable information concerning the gen- 
eral conditions and geography of the area. They also came 

to realize what a tenuous hold the Mexican government 
had in the southwest, a fact that would later contribute 
to United States' designs on the territory and eventual 
interest in migration by American citizens. 

To ready themselves, Smith took steps in January 1831 
to acquire a passport to the Mexican provinces, and Sublette 
did the same in late March. M No such document has yet 
been found for Jackson. In addition, Sublette prevailed 
upon Governor Miller of Missouri to write a letter to Mexi- 
can authorities requesting their cooperation in the business 
pursuits contemplated by the three men. 1, Samuel 
Parkman, who came out of the mountains with the party 
in August and was hired by Smith to copy his journals and 

M |i»si.ih Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, ed. by Max I Moorhead (Norman 
I nivereity of Oklahoma Press, 1954), p 332 In a letter B Platte & Co., Si Vrain 
mentioned thai perhaps the trade still had its drawba< ks, bul the fad thai Si 
Vrain, in partnership with < harles Bent, planned to continue to sell men handise 
in the Southwest, .is mentioned in the letter, indicates then- money t<> be 
made s t Vrain wrote in assessing the Santa Fe situation, "there is no news in this 
c untrv. worth your nctu es more than money is verrey Si rse, k ,, " i,s Sells Uw 
and dutes verrey hie, but Still the prospects are better here than al home " ( eran 
st Vrain to B Platte & I ompany, lanuary I. 1831, Santa Fe Papers, Missouri 
Historical Sot iety, Si I ouis 

;s l \nn I Perrigo, The American Southwest: Its Peoples and Cultures (Albu- 
querque: I ruversirj ol New Mexico Press, l l '71), p. 106. 

vi William 1 1 Ashlej in ["nomas Hart Benton, March 23, 1831, Ashley 
Papers, Missouri I lisiom .il So< iety, s > I ouis. William Sublette Passport, No. 
2332, April c », 1831, Sublette Papers Also see Sunder, William Sul<lctt<-, p. 94 and 
Morgan, Jedediah Smith, pp. 325,434. Dale Morgan Btatesthal [ai kson i ould ha\ e 
goneonSublette'sr/assportasmetwoyoungerSimmbrotherswenton ledediah's 

See [bid., p. 434 

35. Governor lohn Miller to rheir Excellencies the ( lovemors ol Santa l <■, 
( liihu.ihu.i, Sonora and Sue li other ol the Mexi< an Republic As the Bearer may 

\ isii, April H, 1831, ( opy in die Sublette Papers. 


to help draft his map during the winter of 1830-31, also 
spent that winter learning Spanish '"in preparation for a 
visit to New Mexico, which he had then in contemplation, 
and which was carried out in the spring of 1831. " 

The caravan consisting of about eighty-five men with 
twenty-four mule-drawn wagons filled with merchan- 
dise left camp on the Big Blue on May 4, 1831 . Eleven of 
these conveyances were owned by Smith, ten by the new 
partnership of Jackson and Sublette, two by some other 
merchants and one was a six-pounder cannon owned 
jointly by Smith, Jackson and Sublette. It has been as- 
serted that this was the largest and best-equipped mer- 
chant wagon train which had ever up to that time left 
the river for Santa Fe. 37 

Unfortunately, during the caravan's journey, two men 
would be lost. One was the clerk, a Mr. Minter, who was 
killed by the Pawnee Indians just two weeks into the trip. 
The other death would be far more traumatic to Jackson 
and Sublette, for it was their good friend, Jedediah Smith. 

Although the trail to Santa Fe was well 
marked as far as the Arkansas River, from 
there to the Cimarron River it was not 
very visible, having been obliterated by 
herds of buffalo. In this area the party 
became lost and went longer without water on those hot, 
parched plains than normally would be the case. After 
three days of wandering Smith and Fitzpatrick went off 
in different directions to see if they could find a water 
hole while Jackson and Sublette continued on with the 
caravan. After following one of the buffalo trails, Smith 
was successful in finding a water hole but in the process 
was attacked and killed by Comanches. 38 Josiah Gregg 
received the melancholy news of Smith's death from a 
traveler heading east from Santa Fe. He blamed the mis- 
hap on the inexperience of the group on that trail, "...but 
being veteran pioneers of the Rocky Mountains, they con- 
cluded they could go anywhere; and imprudently set out 
without a single person in their company at all compe- 
tent to guide them on the route." 39 Although Jackson and 
Sublette guessed the worst about their partner, they did 
not learn the details about his death until they reached 
Santa Fe. Some Mexicans in possession of Smith's pistols 
and rifle, which they received in trade from the 
Comanches, told them the sad news. 40 Death was a con- 
stant companion when these men worked in the moun- 
tains, but when it came to such a close associate, one can 
be sure it affected them personally. 

The caravan arrived in Santa Fe on July 4, 1831. 41 Be- 

Summer 1996 
cause of Smith's death new business arrangements had to 
be made regarding the partnership and disposition of 
Smith's merchandise. Fortunately, before the group left 
Lexington Smith made out a will in which he named his 
father, brothers, and sisters as his heirs and William Ashley 
as his executor. 4 - Samuel Parkman arranged with Jackson 
and Sublette to dispose of Smith's share in the party. n 

By prior arrangement, probably when Fitzpatrick first 
encountered the caravan in May leaving Missouri, Jack- 
son and Sublette outfitted Fitzpatrick with two-thirds of 
his gear and from Smith's estate, the other one-third, all 
supplies totaling about $6,000. Taking a few men with 
him and picking up more recruits in Taos, including the 
legendary Kit Carson, Fitzpatrick headed north back to 
his partners' mountain encampment after assuring his 
debtors that by December 31 he would have the beaver 
peltry in the Taos vicinity to satisfy the debt the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company owed to Jackson & Sublette and 
the estate of Jedediah Smith. 44 Since both Jackson and 
Sublette anticipated leaving the area soon, they appointed 
David Waldo, a prominent New Mexican merchant and 
old friend of Jackson's family, as their agent to receive 
payment from Rocky Mountain Fur Company "in good 
clean, well handled mountain fur at the rate of four dol- 
lars twenty five cents per pound." 4 "" 

Afterwards Jackson decided to go to California, but 
what influenced him is unknown. His curiosity may have 
been piqued by stories about the area told him by Smith 
following his two visits there. In addition, Jackson may 
have noticed that the mule was becoming a gainful trade 
item out of the Southwest. Long appreciated by the Span- 
ish and Mexicans, mules were highly prized by the south- 
ern plantation owners and farmers on the American fron- 
tier. Carl Hays claimed that Jackson first learned about the 
lucrative possibilities of purchasing mules in California for 
the Missouri and southern market from one Henry Hook, 
"a fellow member of the Masonic Order" and reputed to 
be from the same part of the country as Jackson. 46 Hook 
had just arrived in New Mexico from California by way of 
Guaymas, Sonora, and he was probably influential in 
Jackson's decision to go on to California. 47 Another influ- 
ential person was Ewing Young, a former partner of Will- 
iam Wolfskill -whose name has been connected in history 
with the Old Spanish Trail- and who arrived in New Mexico 
from California. He was interested in returning to the coast, 

36. Morgan quoting Parkman in jedediah Smith, p. 433. 

37. Ezra D. Smith, "Jedediah Smith and the Settlement of Kansas," Collec- 
tions, Kansas State Historical Society, 12(1912): see also, Morgan, jedediah Smith, p. 

! 326. There is a slight discrepancy on the exact numbers in this caravan between 
j Smith and Morgan, but because of Morgan's reputation as an excellent historian 
I I have chosen to use his breakdown as to the composition of the party. 

38. Morgan, Jedediah Smith, pp. 329-30; Gregg, Commerce, pp. 64-65. Sublette 
reported the deaths of both Minter and Smith. William Sublette to William 
Ashley, September 24, 1831, Sublette Papers. 

39. Gregg, Commerce, p. 64. 

40. Morgan, Jedediah Smith, pp. 329-30. 

41. Sunder, Bill Sublette, p. 98. 

42. Morgan, jedediah Smith, p. 327. 

43. Sunder, Bill Sublette, p. 99. It could have been because of Parkman's 
knowledge of the Spanish language, although somewhat limited, that he was 
given this responsibility since negotiations with Mexican authorities were 
involved. Also, he had been working with Smith for some time and was 
probably more knowledgeable concerning the business than were Smith's two 
younger brothers. 

44. Hafen, Broken Hand, pp. 97-98; Gowans, Rendezvous, p. 51. 

45. In an agreement, David Waldo was designated as receiving agent for the 
Jackson and Sublette Company. Agreement between Jackson & Sublette and 
David Waldo, August 23, 1831, Sublette Papers. 

46. Hays, "Jackson," pp. 229-30. 

47. Bancroft wrote that Henry Hook had been a partner of Ewing Young and 
had, as a Santa Fe trader, "assisted pecuniarily" the autumn 1830 trapping 
expedition of William Wolfskill. Hubert Howe Bancroft, The History of California, 
1825-1840 (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co., 1885), p. 386. 


Annals or Wyoming 

possibly because he was considered a perennial trouble- 
maker bv the New Mexico authorities. 48 

Even though Sublette anticipated a sizable profit 
from their recent expedition, he was not pleased with 
the country or the business, and as a result, the partner- 
ship of Jackson and Sublette was dissolved. 4 " In its place 
David Waldo and Jackson formed a partnership in which 
Waldo would take charge of disposing of Jackson's share 
of the remaining merchandise brought from St. Louis. 
Ewing Young was later taken in as a junior partner for 
the purpose of joining Jackson in a mule and horse buy- 
inc/fur trapping enterprise. 

The new partnership of Jackson, Waldo and 
Young decided to split their expedition into 
two companies. Jackson would lead one 
group consisting of eleven men including 
himself, his negro slave Jim, Peter Smith, one 
of Jedediah's younger brothers, Jonathan Trumbull 
Warner, and David Waldo's brother, William. 50 Jackson's 
band would go directly to California to purchase mules 
and horses, going as far north as Monterey and possibly 
even to San Francisco. Young would lead the other group 
numbering between thirty to thirty-six men/ 1 Young's 
men would trap for beaver on the Gila River and lower 
Colorado River and then meet Jackson in the Los Ange- 
les area. Together the two groups would bring newly 
purchased stock and peltries back to New Mexico. 

Jackson and his party left Santa Fe on September 6, 
1831. Every member of his group had a mule to ride. 
There were also seven pack mules of which five were 
laden with bags of silver coin, the proceeds from mer- 
chandise sold by Jackson in Santa Fe and destined to be 
used to purchase mules from the ranchos and missions in 
California. The party traveled south along the "Del Norte 
river" (the upper Rio Grande), left the Rio Grande head- 
ing southwest and then crossed directly west from New 
Mexico into Arizona, arriving at the famous, abandoned 
mission of San Xavier del Bac south of present Tucson. In 
so doing Jackson's party blazed a new trail and undoubt- 
edly became the first Americans to view this mission 
founded in the early 1700s by Father Eusebio Francisco 
Kino. 52 Afterwards, Jackson moved northwest and even- 
tually picked up the Gila River which he followed west 
to the Colorado, crossing it into California. 53 This route 
would be used later by both Captain Philip St. George Cooke 
with the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican War and 

48. Weber, Taos Trappers, p. 146. 

49. Sunder, Bill Sublette, p. 99. 

50. Jonathan Trumbull Warner, "Reminiscences of Early California, 1831- 
1846," Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California (1907- 
1908): 178; Hayes, "Jackson," p. 231. 

51. Job F. Dye, "Recollections of a Pioneer of California," Santa Cruz Sentinel, 
May 1, 1869, p. 18; May 8, 1869, p. 18; May 15, 1869, p. 18; Warner, "Reminis- 
cences," p. 186. 

52. Hayes, "Jackson," p. 233. 

53. In Jackson's attempts to establish this route Warner wrote that "there 
could not be found in either Tucson or Altar - although thev were both military 
posts and towns of considerable population -a man who had even been over the 
route from those towns to California by the way of the Colorado River, or even 
to that river, to serve as a guide, or from whom any information concerning the 
route could be obtained." See, Warner, "Reminiscences," p. 188. 

by the Butterfield Overland Mail. Jackson's party finally 
arrived at San Diego in early November 1831. They ar- 
rived in Los Angeles the following December. 

Prior to Jackson's departure from Santa Fe, Henry 
Hood asked Captain John Rogers Cooper in Monterey tc 
cooperate with Jackson in his mule and horse buying ven- 
ture. 54 This was the same Captain Cooper who had as- 
sisted Jedediah Smith by guaranteeing his conduct to the 
Mexican authorities in California in 1827. In turn, three 
weeks after his arrival in the Los Angeles area Jacksor 
wrote to Captain Cooper on December 24, 1831 and in- 
cluded with his letter the letter of introduction from Hook 
The contents of his letter raise speculations that some 
mishap was keeping him there: "There has been some- 
thing said of my taking part in the late dispute in govern- 
ment that is fals [sic]. ..and I inclose a letter of Mr. Hooks 
that I intended to be the bearer but opposition causes me 
to forward it by mail. He called upon Cooper as a "frienc 
unknown" to act as his agent in procuring "all the mule; 
from 3 years. ..not to exceed one thousand." 55 

Jackson then went north as far as the missions on the 
southern shore of the bay of San Francisco where he made 
contact with Cooper. 5 " Jackson brought back with hirr 
the $30,000 bond signed by Jedediah Smith to protec 
Cooper when he took responsibility for Smith's conduc I 
backinl827. 57 

On the way from San Miguel to Los Angeles, Jack J 
son and his party were unable to ford the flooding Sali 
nas River and were detained for fourteen days across 
from the mission of Soledad. Twenty-four animals go 
across the river, but the mission charged Jackson ten dol 
lars for rounding up and taking care of them. Much te 
Jackson's chagrin two horses and one mule were miss 
ing. To help compensate for his losses Jackson took ; 
mule belonging to the priest and told him that if the ani 
mals were found the priest could keep them. 58 Jacksoi 
eventually returned to Los Angeles in the latter part o 
March with "a much less number of mules than was an 
ticipated." 59 The decrease was probably due to his lat< 
start up the coast and the delay near Soledad. Also hi 
cut short his trading activities because he knew tha 
Young would be expecting his return. 

Ewing Young's party arrived in the pueblo of Lo 
Angeles on March 14, 1832. h " Their efforts were even les 
successful than those of Jackson. There was no shortagi 
of beaver on the way to California, but the traps they usee 

54. Henry Hook to John Cooper, August 18, 1831, Vallejo Document: 
Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. 

55. David Jackson to John Cooper, December 24, 1831, Vallejo Document; 

56. Warner, "Reminiscences," p. 178. 

57. Morgan, jedediah Smith, p. 423. When Smith was in California illegally i 
1827 Captain Cooper guaranteed with his bond the good conduct and behavic 
of Smith as he left California by a specified route while travelling back to th 
GreatSalt Lake area. In turn, Smith signed a bond at Monterey on November 1 
1827 "for $30,000 insuring the faithful performance of the bond given tn 

58. David Jackson to John Cooper, February 29, 1832, Vallejo Documents. 

59. Warner, "Reminiscences," p. 170. 

60. Dye, "Recollections," p. 27. 

61. Robert Glass Cleland, This Reckless Breed of Men (New York: Alfred I 
Knopf, 1952), pp. 236-37; Warner, "Reminiscences," p. 186. 


Summer I c ' c '(i 

were defective, thus their yield was disappoint- 
ing. 61 

The two groups met, as prearranged, at the 
Rancho de la Sierra on the Santa Ana River. Origi- 
nally the partnership planned to purchase fifteen 
hundred to two thousand mules, and Ewing Young 
and his men would help Jackson drive the herds back 
to New Mexico. In actuality, they had only about 
six hundred mules and one hundred horses. The 
extra manpower was not necessary, but Young and 
his men would help Jackson get across the Colorado 
River. In Mav the combined parties retraced their 
route to the Colorado River and reached it in June. 
According to Warner, they experienced difficulties 
in getting the herds across it: 

We. ..found the river nearly bank full. With great diffi- 
culty ami after some twelve days of incessant toil in the 
burning sun ami other casualties the mules and horses 
were swam to the east shore." 2 

After that, most of the men drove the herd to 
New Mexico, while Young and a few men would 
return to Los Angeles to purchase additional mules 
and hunt and trap. Before going their separate 
wavs Jackson gave Young $3,000 to purchase ad- 
ditional mules and about $7000 in supplies. Young 
sent Jackson back with six and one-half bales of 
beaver skins to take to New Mexico. 

On their return journey to New Mexico, Jack- 
son and about 30 men followed essentially the in- 
coming route from the previous fall. However, 
conditions were far different because now the party 
was traveling through arid desert in the summer 
and it was still too early for the late summer mon- 
soons of the Southwest. Fourteen and one-half 
years later when he led the Mormon Battalion 
along approximately the same route when he was 
between Tucson and the Gila River, Captain Cooke 
wrote in his journal: "A Mr. Jackson once lost many 
of a small drove of mules he took through in an 
imprudent manner in July." 63 

Actually Jackson and his party arrived back in 
i Santa Fe the first week in July, 1832. Problems de- 
i veloped between his party and the New Mexican 
I authorities over the furs that Young sent back with Jack- 
I son. Some of Young's men reported to the officials that the 
| furs belonged to their former leader. But Jackson main- 
tained they belonged to David Waldo who, as a Mexican 
citizen, was issued a license which Jackson had in his pos- 

62. Warner, "Reminiscences," p. \7V. 

63. Philip St. George Cooke, William Henrv Chase Whiting, and Francois 
| Xavier Aubry, Exploring Southwestern Trail, 1846-1854, ed. by Ralph P. Bieber 
j (Glendale, California: The Arthur H. Clark Company, l l >3,si, p lwv The two 
| guides that Cooke used for his expedition were Antoine Leroux and Pauline (or 
1 Powell) Weaver. Carl Havs believed that these men were also a part of Jackson 

ind Young's enterprise and for this reason they were familiar with the route 
I This undoubtedly was how Cooke knew about Jackson's experience in the 

Map by Eileen Skibo 

David Jackson 's f ravels fhrough 
California, 1831-1832 

session. Knowing of Young's reputation with Mexican of- 
ficials, Jackson declined to mention that Young was a part- 
ner of the two. Surviving documents do not shed any light 
on how this controversy was concluded. M 

After resolving the problems with the beaver pelts 
and disposing of some of his stock brought from Califor- 
nia, Jackson and David Waldo left Santa Fe in late sum- 
mer of 1 S32. They were later joined by Ira Smith who 
had arrived from the east to drive back to Missouri the 
forty-five mules belonging to his brother Peter, his share 

64. Jose Manuel Ortega, a member ol N oung s trapping party, was the first 
to report the existence of the turs to the second alcalde of Santa Fe. Other 
members of the group, all from Taos, were also willing to testify that the turs 
belonged to Ewing Young. See Weber, Tao> Trappers, pp. 150-51. 


Annals o( Wyoming 

tor services on the California expedition.""' Whether on a 
whim or by previous plan, Jackson and Waldo left the 
Santa Fe Trail and headed for Fort Gibson, possibly leav- 
ing the Missouri-bound group in the middle of Kansas 
while they continued following the Arkansas River.** 
Jackson's motive was either to see if there was a ready 
market for the mules at the fort, or to help Waldo find a 
place to keep the stock until he arranged for their sale to 
southern plantations. In the fall of 1833, W. P. Jackson, 
Jackson's son, travelled from Memphis, Tennessee, to the 
Fort Smith-Van Buren, Arkansas area and picked up two 
hundred mules that Waldo was holding there. 67 

Jackson's high hopes for his Santa Fe trade and Cali- 
fornia mule expeditions were not fully realized for 
several reasons. First, there was a personal loss 
with the death of his friend, Jedediah Smith. Sec- 
ond, his ventures did not live up to his financial 
expectations because Jackson was unable to pro- 
cure the amount of livestock in California that he antici- 
pated and, if Cook's information is correct, he lost some 
in crossing the desert. Nor did the fur trade pan out. 
There is some uncertainty as to whether or not he and 
Waldo were ever able to profit from Young's furs that were 
confiscated by the authorities. It is doubtful that Young 
ever sent additional livestock or furs on to Santa Fe to 
Jackson as agreed because Young never again returned 
to the Santa Fe-Taos area. Had Waldo and Jackson been 
able to profit bv the five hundred confiscated beaver skins 
thev would probably have netted no more than $4,000.^ 
But when considering all of the above, along with the ad- 
dition of normal expenditures such a venture would en- 
tail, Jackson did not realize much monetarily for his 
troubles. That he led one of the longest, if not the longest, 
trail drives in his country's history probably mattered very 
little to him. Jackson might have felt somewhat compen- 
sated for his losses if he believed, as did his former partner 
Jed Smith who wrote: "...but I was also led on by the love 
of novelty common to all which is much increased by the 
pursuit of its gratification."^ However, Jackson was far 
more pragmatic than Smith. Furthermore, Jackson man- 
aged to keep the men serving under him alive, even though 

65. Stella D. Han-, "Jedediah Smith's Younger Brother Ira: Lawman at 
Sacramento, I hsi -S2, Re-Discovered by Research," The Pacifit Historian, 11 
(Summer 1967): 44. 

66 In a letter written shortly before he died Jackson told his son Ned that he 
had loaned SUM) to a "James I lamilton 1st Lieut of Dragoons in the fall of M he 
was stationed at lourt Gibson( herokee Lands." (Jackson, Lampoj Remembrance, 
p, 53 I 1 ort Gibson is located OH the left bank of the Grand River near its 
confluence with the Arkansas in present-day Muskogee ( ounty, Oklahoma. It built in IK24 and abandoned in 1 8S7. See Gregg, Commerce, p. 230, loot note 

67 Hayes, "David Jackson," p. 240 I lavs suggests that it was a result of this 
employment that Waldo met his future wife, whom he married "at Union 
Mission, about 2s miles from Fori Gibson, [an 23, 1K14." Waldo would later 
become a prominent resident ot both Missouri and C alifornia. He received a 
memorial for risking his "life and his fortune rescuing several parties of Califor- 
nia emigrants" in 1850 I lealso ran unsm cessfully lor ( .overnor of California on 
the Whig tit k.t See Waldo. "Recollections," pp. 50-61. 

[feach pelt weighed I he average 1 (■> pounds the five hundred beaver skins 
would weigh H(MI pounds I'robablv the most they could have sold them lor was 
five dollars per pound This hgurcs out to be $4,000. This amount is merely 

speculate e bet ause of the fluctuation m the price ot beaver due to the quality of 

the skins and the demand in the market place I or information about beaver pell 

prices, seeGowans, Rendezvous. 

they were often faced with life-threatening situations. 

After Fort Gibson, Jackson invested in lead mining 
in Missouri and speculated in land in the former Indian 
territories of the South. Jackson did not lack the vision or 
ambition to improve his situation, but he was deficient in 
the business acumen possessed by former partner, Bill 
Sublette, which was Sublette's main contribution to the 
success of SJS. Jackson was also unprepared for the com- 
plicated legal ramifications of business deals in which he 
became embroiled. His problem was that he had become 
too accustomed to the simple conduct of affairs he expe- 
rienced in the mountains where his associates dealt fairly 
with one another and where all one needed was a hand- 
shake to seal a bargain. When he died, his oldest son was 
kept busy in four states trying to untangle the web of 
business projects his father had weaved. To make his fi- 
nancial matters worse, there was also a constant drain on 
his cash reserves because the families of men killed while 
serving under Jed Smith brought suit 
against the old firm. 

Personal matters also took a toll on him. 
In 1830 before he left for Santa Fe he found 
his brother in Ste. Genevieve in poor 
health. 70 A few months later George died, 
and Jackson shouldered the responsibility 
of seeing to the material well-being of his 
brother's wife, three daughters, and one 
son. At about the same time, his estranged 
wife sent their younger son, William Pitt, 
to live with his father because she could no 
longer manage him. He arrived with one 
of Jackson's younger halfbrothers. Jackson 
involved the young men in his business 
ventures and a rapport developed between 
him and his son. Sadly, within a few years 
of their reunion, William Pitt died of com- 
plications following an accidentally self- 
inflicted gunshot wound. David's half- 
brother died two years earlier of injuries fol- 
lowing a foolish stunt in which he at- 
tempted to prove he could jump "as high 
as his own head." 71 As for the rest of his 
family, David was never to enjoy their as- 
sociation again. He attempted to corre- 
spond with his remaining son, Ned. Shortly 
before his death, Jackson's last letter was 
typically unemotional, informing his son of 
his business dealings, that is, to whom he 
owed money and those who owed him in 
return. He also reported the death of Will- 

<r ^r 

64. Quoted in Morgan, Jedediah Smith, p. 237. 

70 Much of the information concerning the personal 
and family affairs of David I' Jackson alter he left the 
Rot kies was derived from Jackson, Lamp o) Remembrance. 

In addition, copies ol itemized bills from Ste. Genevieve 

merchants indicating thai David was taking care ofGeorge's family can be found 
in "Jackson Documents," Morgan Papers. 
71. Jackson, Lampoj Remembrance, pp. 50-51. 


iam Pitt the previous spring. What he did not report was 
that he himself was dying of typhoid which he had con- 
tracted at the home of a debtor in Paris, Tennessee. But his 
letter is devoid of self-pity, apology, or regret, containing 
only acceptance of misfortune and displaying an attitude 
that was no doubt a legacy of his tenuous Rocky Mountain 
experiences. On Christmas Eve, 1837, David Jackson died 
in a rented room on the second floor of the Atkins and 
Brown Tavern in Paris Tennessee. 

David E. Jackson was an actor in the very drama that 
has become a part of this nation's lore. He witnessed and 
participated in the pushing of civilization farther west, 
even though he chose to spend little time confined within 
civilized society. He associated with pivotal players in 
the formation of western history. Although he has not 
received the attention accorded some of his contempo- 
raries, one can take comfort in the words of Robert Cleland 
who wrote: "But if historical records have proved so in- 

Summer 1 996 
different to Jackson's memory, the lake and valley among 
the tetons that bear his name are monuments sublime and 
enduring enough for any man." 72 

72. Cleland, Reckless Breed, p. 235. 

Vivian Talbot currently teaches American Civili- 
zation at Weber State University and will begin the 
Ph.D. program at the University of Utah. She is writ- 
ing a biography of David E. Jackson which will be 
published by the Jackson Hole Museum and Teton 
County Historical Society. 

This article was designed by Melinda Brazzale. 

|j3 ^ '^HtHy 

Drawing by Eileen Skibo 

... Jackson's party blazed a new trail and undoubtedly became the first Americans to view this mission 
(San Xavier del Bac) founded in the early 1 700s by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. 



On The Heels 

op rhe 

HandcaKT Tnagedy: 


by Melvin L. Bashore 

m. „ am 

Dn 1856, the William Bond family traveled across 
the vast prairies of America to Brigham Young's 
paradise for Mormons in the Great Basin. They 
were among the estimated 12,000 emigrants to 
travel overland that year. 1 After months of disappoint- 
ing delays, they joined a Mormon wagon company, 
which was one of two independent Mormon wagon 
companies that followed on the heels of two ill-fated 
Mormon handcart companies. 

The year 1856 also marked the Mormons' use of 
handcarts as an affordable way for transporting masses 
of poor European converts across the plains to Utah. 
Although a combination of poor judgment and an early 
winter spelled disaster for the last two handcart compa- 
nies in 1856, more than 800 people in the first three 
handcart companies that season made the journey 
successfully. During the years from 1856 through 1860 
when handcarts were used, more than five thousand 
Mormons traveled in wagon companies while three 
thousand emigrants pushed and pulled the two-wheel 
carts. Undoubtedly even more emigrants would have 
come in handcart companies were it not for the misfor- 
tune of the 1856 handcart disaster and the ensuing 
question about the safety of that form of travel in the 
minds of European converts. 

The tragic story of the Willie and Martin handcart 
companies, in which 200 out of 1,076 emigrants died, 
has been recounted in numerous books and articles. 2 In 
contrast, the story of the Hodgetts and Hunt wagon 
companies has received little attention and only then as 
limited references in articles and books focusing on the 
handcart tragedy. There seems to be two possible 
reasons why this extraordinary story has essentially 
been left untold. First, the story of the handcart expedi- 

1. Merrill J. Mates, Platte River Road Narratives (Urbana, Illinois: University of 
Illinois Press, 1988), p. 3. 

2. The best books on the handcart disaster are LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. 
Hafen, Handcarts to Zion (Glendale, California: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1%0); 
Wallace Stegner, The Gathering of Zion (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), pp. 221- 
59; and Rebecca Cornwall and Leonard Arrington, Rescue of the 1856 Handcart 
Companies (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981). 

Engraving from The Rocky Mountain Saints: A Full and 

Complete History of the Mormons, From the First Vision of 

Joseph Smith to the Last Courtship of Brigham Young 

by T.B.H. Stenhome (Salt Lake City: Shepard Book 

Company, 1904), p. 325. 

MoRMondom's Tongorren 
1856 Wagon Companies 



nnals o 



From Frederick Piercy and James Linforth, i i> , Route from Liverpool to Gran Salt Lake Valley (Liverpool: Franklin 
D Richards, 1855), p. Ki- 

tion was not recounted in any detail until over two 
decades after it occurred. Handcart pioneer John 
Jaques surmised that many did not care to be reminded 
about their experiences: 

For years after the journey was made, nobody wished to say 
or hear much about it, and those who were in the company 
cared to remember little of it. The affair was one of those 
disagreeable things, like some hateful dream, or dreadful 
vision, or horrible nightmare, that people seem indisposed to 
refer to but rather tacitly agree to forget. 3 

It is likewise understandable that the members of 
the wagon companies would not want to dredge up 
memories of trail hardships and deaths. Secondly, the 
uniqueness and drama of the handcart mode of travel, 
the severity of their experience, and the great number 
of casualties that they suffered all may have contrib- 
uted to causing the story of the two wagon companies 
to be overlooked. 

he Hodgetts and Hunt wagon companies 
were independent companies captained 
respectively by William B. Hodgetts and John 
A. Hunt. Both men were instructed by 
Mormon church leaders to follow behind the handcart 
companies of James D. Willie and Edward Martin. 
Church leaders reasoned that should the handcarts 
become disabled, the wagon companies could render 
assistance where needed. 4 As it turned out, the 
Hodgetts and Hunt wagon companies suffered as 
much from the cold, snow, and starvation as did the 
handcart companies. 5 

In 1856 the William Bond family, Mormon con- 
verts from England, travelled by rail from New York to 
Iowa City, the assembly point and staging ground for 
Mormon emigrants as well as the staging area of the 
Hodgetts and Hunt wagon companies. Like others, 
their journey was not without some difficulty. In 
contrast to handcart emigrants who received Church 
assistance to emigrate and travel, wagon company 
emigrants had to furnish their own outfits and provi- 
sions. Mormon apostle John Taylor had advised the 
Bond family to purchase their supplies and travel fares 
through Church travel and purchasing agents. They 
contracted with the Church agents for $600 to purchase 
a wagon, two yoke of oxen, supplies, and first class 
railroad fare from New York to Iowa City. According to 
the contract, their wagon and supplies were to be 
delivered to them at the staging grounds within a 
month. Unfortunately, the Bond family was doomed to 
disappointment. The first inkling of misfortune oc- 
curred when they were transferred from regular 
passenger cars in Chicago into "dreadful[lyl dirty" 
lumber, hog, and cattle cars for the remainder of the 
trip to Iowa City. Even though they preceded the 
majority of the Mormon emigrants and thus did not 
have the advantage of large numbers or accompanying 
Mormon travel agents to smooth their passage, their 
experience in traveling to Iowa City by train was not 
uncommon. Elizabeth White Stewart, a member of the 
Hunt Wagon Company, traveled with five hundred 
other Mormons on a 1,500-mile train journey from 
Boston to Iowa in late June. She described the "very 
unpleasant" journey: 

We were put in cars that had no seats. We had to sit on our 
trunks and baggage and had no room to He down at night. 

3. Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 19, 1879, p. 1. 

4. Mary Gogle Pay, a member of the Jones/Hunt company said, "We had 
orders not to pass the handcart companies. We had to keep close to them as to 
help them if we could." (Mary Goble Pay, "A Noble Pioneer," in Our Pioneer 
Heritage, comp. by Kate B. Carter, vol. 13 (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah 
Pioneers, 1970), p. 431.) 

5. Journal History, December 15, 1856, p. 2. LDS Church Archives. Journal 
History is a chronological scrapbook of Mormon Church history compiled by 
the LDS Church Historical Department. 


Summer 1 c ) c )6 


1856 - 1860 





Handcart Route 

Utah Boundary 
in 1850'S 


15 50 lop loo 



General route of the Mormon and Oregon trails 

Mac by I ii ii n Skibo 

Right: John Taylor 

From Hubhrt Howe Bancroft, Hutory of Utah (San 
Frani isto: Thk History Company, 1890), p. 682. 

Far right: Members of the Hodgett 
and Hunt Companies. Top row: 
James M. Stewart, Geroge Sinnett, 
Geroge May. Middle row: James E. 
Steele and Elizabeth Ann Player 
Raleigh. Bottom row: Emily Player 
Raleigh, Barnard white and 
Elizabeth White Stewart. 

From Improvement Era 17:4 (FEBRUARY 1914). P. 296. 





Annals of Wyoming 

Wlien we completed our journey to Iowa City we were 
informed that we would have to walk four miles to our 
camping ground. All felt delighted to have the privilege of a 
pleasant walk. . . . We had not gone far before it began to 
thunder and lightning and the rain poured. The roads 
became very muddy and slippery. The day was far advanced 
and it was late in the evening before we arrived at the camp. 
We all got very wet. 6 

nfortunately, the trying journey by train was 
only a harbinger of the emigration experi- 
ence for the Bond family. Instead of waiting 
only a month as per their contract with the 
Church agents, they tarried four months until their 
long-awaited supplies finally arrived. In the meantime, 
they watched almost 1,900 handcart emigrants leave 
the Iowa City campgrounds. If they had received their 
supplies according to contract stipulations, they could 
have easily traveled to Florence, Nebraska, departed for 
Utah with the first Mormon wagon company, and 
arrived in Salt Lake in mid- August. Eventually, the 
Bond family received their promised supplies, and on 

July 13 an organizational meeting was held to form a 
wagon company to cross the plains to Salt Lake City. 
Welshman Dan Jones was chosen as Captain of Hun- 
dred. Through experience, the Mormons had deter- 
mined that companies of about 100 wagons made for 
efficiency and safety in crossing the plains. John A. 
Hunt, age 26, and William Benjamin Hodgetts, age 24, 
were chosen as Captains of Fifties. Other officers 
chosen included eight Captains of Tens, a chaplain, a 
marshal, and a captain of the guard. 7 

On July 30, seven days after the organizational 
meeting, Captain Hodgetts decided to leave for Council 
Bluffs with three companies of Tens and thirty wagons 
in advance of the main company. Although initially 
organized as a single company, Hodgetts' departure 
split the company into two separate, independent 
companies. The Hodgetts Company, with fewer 
wagons, proceeded ahead. The company of fifty-six 
wagons under Captain Dan Jones was detained due to 
missing cattle, lost oxen, unprepared wagons, and a 
myriad of other problems and did not start until 
August 4. Mary Goble Pay, a young teenager, recalled 
the difficulties her family faced in preparing to leave 
the campground with the Jones Company: "We started 
to travel with our oxen unbroken, and we did not know 
a thing about driving oxen." 8 Nor did many of the 
other wagon drivers, and the company moved west- 
ward with fits and starts. 

After a week of travel, Captain Jones called a 
meeting of the company. He stated that he would be 
leaving the company to join a mule team. He coun- 
seled them to be more faithful in fulfilling their duties 
and to be more willing to do what was required of 
them. According to the camp journal, company mem- 
bers accepted this situation and resolved to respond to 
what might be required of them in the future. 4 In 
particular, they needed the men to heed the marshal's 
call to guard, to watch the herd, and to be ready to 

6. "Autobiography of Elizabeth White Stewart/' in Mary Ellen B. Workman, 
comp., "Ancestors of Isaac Mitton Stewart and Elizabeth White," (1978), p. [1], 
LDS Church Archives. 

7. An anonymous author kept a camp journal of both the Hunt and Hodgetts 
companies as they traveled close together. The journal entries were transcribed, 
edited and entered in Journal History, December 15, 1856, pages 16-37. Unless 
otherwise noted, references in this paper to the camp journal refer to the 
transcription in Journal History. The reference to the July 13 organizational 
meeting is in Journal History, December 15, 1856, p. 16. 

8. Pay, "A Noble Pioneer," p. 430. 

9. Camp Journal, August 11, 1856, in Journal History, December 15, 1856, pp. 

Council Bluffs Ferry and Group of Cotton-wood Trees 

From PlERCY, Routt from Liverpool, P. 81 . 


hitch up the teams each morning. At an evening 
meeting that same day, the company unanimously 
decided to have John A. Hunt succeed Dan Jones as 
captain of the company Three days later, Dan Jones left 
the company to join the mule team. On August 13, the 
pay prior to Jones's departure, a 21 year-old Welsh 

bamster died from "inflammation of the brain." He 
as the first casualty in the wagon companies on the 
rail after leaving Iowa City. 10 

While traveling through Iowa, each company 
made adjustments and established a regular travel 
regimen. In the Hunt Company each sub-group of ten 
Wagons alternated daily in taking the lead. Usually 
:hey halted at noon to rest for an hour. Captain Hunt 
routinelv helped at bridges and river 
rossings, sometimes assisting wagons 
across with an extra yoke of oxen. The 
company also had morning and evening 
grayer meetings at which company 
business was discussed and directions 
md timely instruction were given. At 
3ne evening prayer meeting they voted to 
adopt two new company regulations. 
They unanimously favored a proposal to 
?xpel any man, woman, or child above 
he age of eight years old who disobeyed 
he counsel or instructions of the captain. 
They also voted to forfeit the gun of any 
nan who shot within half a mile of the 
amp or "was found taking out a gun for 
he purpose of shootings" before the 
evening corral was formed. 11 

While traveling through Iowa, both 
vagon companies had encounters with 
settlers in towns near the trail. One evening, after 
raveling fourteen miles and fording the Des Moines 
^iver, the Hunt Company halted for camp two miles 
vest of Fort Des Moines. Tired from the day's trek, the 
vlormon travelers paid little interest to the musical 
procession of townspeople who visited them. The 
owans shortly withdrew from parading inside the 
:orral when they realized they would not be paid for 
heir efforts. 

As the emigrants neared the Missouri River, 
nembers of the companies were offered inducements 
5y farmers and other settlers to discontinue their 
ourney. In some instances, former Mormons who had 
?een dissatisfied with life in Utah tried to dissuade the 
emigrants from proceeding. At a meeting in Kanesville, 
Vlormon Church leader Franklin D. Richards tried to 
rounter the allure of these arguments. He viewed their 
;ontinued travel as a test of their faith and reasoned 
hat "as they had the faith to travel this far, they had 
setter journey on to the end." 12 At least three wagons 
n the Hunt Company pulled out and decided to stop in 

Franklin D. Richards 

Orson R Whitney, History o] Utah, vol. ; 

(Salt Lake City: Geroge Q. Cannon & 

Sons, 1892), p. 245. 

Summer 1996 
Florence, Nebraska. For the emigrants who made the 
decision to proceed, the continuation of their journey 
proved to be, indeed, a hard test of faith. 

At Florence they tarried a few days to stock 
provisions and prepare to set out across the plains. 
Meetings were held each day to instruct the emigrants. 
Mormon apostle Erastus Snow advised the emigrants 
"to stop for nothing, except for resting their cattle, as 
there was no time to waste." He also made some 
comments that caused some emigrants unnecessary 
concern and worry: 

It was the desire of Brigham Young the prophet for settle- 
ments to be made all the way between here [Missouri River] 
and Great Salt Lake City. They would then have no need of 
Mule or Ox Teems [sic], but they would be 
able to travel from one settlement to another 
with their packs upon their backs. He threw 
out these hints for them to think upon which 
caused the people to wonder if they would be 
called upon to settle down anywhere lalong 
the road]. ' 3 

The Hodgetts Company left 
Florence on August 31, a few days in 
advance of the Hunt Company. The 
latter company set out on September 2 
and crossed the Elkhorn River on 
September 3. The first Mormon wagon 
company of the 1856 season's emigration 
that had departed from Florence had 
already reached Salt Lake. Convinced by 
church leaders about the seriousness of 
their late departure, the companies 
traveled with dispatch. Their haste may 
have been responsible for numerous 
accidents and injuries to men and machinery. One four- 
year-old boy was run over and seriously hurt when he 
fell from the front seat of his wagon. 

hen stocking provisions at Florence, the 
emigrants found very little bacon available 
for purchase. At Fort Kearny, the 
Hodgetts Company was able to load up 
several wagons with bacon "for which the soldiers had 
no use." 14 Captain Hodgetts divided it among the 
wagons. In turn, company members shared their bacon 
rinds with the handcart emigrants, who used it for 
greasing the hubs of their carts. Unfortunately, the 
added weight in the wagons made it difficult for the 
teams to pull the wagons in the sand bordering the 
Platte River. 

Occasionally friction and conflict arose between 
the handcart and wagon companies camping and 
traveling in close proximity. On two succeeding days 
Dan Tyler, assistant captain in the Martin Handcart 

10. Ibid., August 13, 1856, in Journal History, December 15, 1856, p. 19. 

11. Ibid., August 20, 1856, in Journal History, December 15, 1856, p. 21. 

12. Bond, Handcarts West, p. 12. 

13. Dan Jones Emigrating Company Journal, August 31, 1856, LDS Church 

14. Bond, Handcarts West, pp. 8, 10. 


Annals or Wyoming 

Chimney Rock 

From Frederick Piercy and James Linforth, eds., Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley 
(Liverpool: Franklin D. Richards, 1855), p. 91. 

Company, voiced complaints about bothersome 
incidents. One morning, the handcart company was 
annoyed by the wagon company's cattle. On the next 
day Tyler was again irritated and offended when the 
wagon company passed by a broken-down handcart 
without stopping to help repair it. 15 In early October in 
the vicinity of Chimney Rock (still 580 miles from Salt 
Lake), the Hodgetts Company met a company of "79 
apostate Mormons from Salt Lake Valley" who were on 
their way back to the states. They painted a bleak 
picture of the poverty of the people in Utah. 1 ' 1 Both the 
Hodgetts and Hunt wagon companies also encoun- 
tered Indians and buffalo on the plains. 

The two companies camped about a mile from 
Fort Laramie on October 8-9. At that point, about a half 
dozen people in the Hunt Company and a few in the 
Hodgetts Company had died. One of the deaths 
occurred during a wagon stampede just before the 
Hunt Company arrived at Fort Laramie. 17 

15. Jesse Haven Journal, September 1 7-1 8, 1 856, LDS Church Archives. 
For clarity, spelling has been modernized and punctuation added to 
excerpts from this and other unpublished journals and reminiscences 

16. Camp Journal, October 2, 1856, in Journal History, December 15, 

1856, p. 29; Haven Journal, October 1, 1856. James Linforth said this 
group of embittered Mormons was critical because they found "no work 
and no provisions" in Utah. (Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, January 10, 

1857, p. 28.) 

17. Camp Journal, October 7, 1856, in Journal History, December 25, 
1856, p. 30. 

Fort Laramie 

From Frederickj Piercy and James Linforth, eds.. Route from Liverpool to 
Great Sale Lake Valley (LIVERPOOL: FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS, 1855), P. 81. 

While the company was resting and getting 
provisions, Captain Hodgetts advised his company 
to lighten their wagon loads for the benefit of the 
cattle. The ox teams were becoming footsore, thin, 
and tired, and less than a month after leaving 
Florence, oxen and cattle were dying. At this time of 
year, feed and water for the oxen were scarce or 
poor, and many nights the cattle had to be corralled 
because there was simply no feed. 

At the Fort Laramie meeting, Captain Hodgetts 
explained that the company was in a grave situation. 
He mentioned that the teams were weakening and had 
to travel more slowly because the feed was getting 
frostbitten and was not nearly so nourishing as it had 
been. The slower pace of travel meant that the emi- 
grants would need to ration their food so that it would 
last longer. He asked everyone for an accounting of the 
remaining food supplies in the company and hoped 
that they would receive relief before they ran out of 
food. As he did not know when relief would arrive, he 
recommended that they apply strict measures in 
rationing food. He advised the parents to mete out 
only a small biscuit per day for each family member. At 
the close of this meeting, the seriousness of their plight 
was reflected in the emigrants' faces. John Bond 
recalled the look on his parents' faces: "They looked 
each other in the face, as much as to say they believed it 
would be a hard journey the rest of the way." 18 

Immediately, the emigrants began unloading the 
weighty items from their wagons. With tears in her 
eyes, Mary Ann Bond watched as her cherished No. 8 
Charter Oak stove was removed from her wagon and 
taken with other goods to the fort. She was exasper- 
ated and angry with John Taylor whom she blamed for 
their belated departure and consequent afflictions: "He 
had kept us waiting four months and . . . now we were 
liable to perish and lose all before we could arrive 

18. Bond, Handcarts West, p. 1^. 


safely." 1 " Mary Ann's aggravation is understandable 
because by this time all but one of the other Mormon 
wagon companies and all the other handcart companies 
of that season had already arrived in Salt Lake. 

After pulling out of Fort Laramie the companies 
[averaged about twenty miles each day To preserve the 
teams, the pace of travel was slowed but the time of 
travel each day was extended. The nights were turning 
quite cool and people were using more bedding. After 
each night's meager supper the hungry 
children begged for more. John and 
Mary Ann Bond were pained to hear 
their children's "piteous pleadings" for 
more food. Unfortunately, after assess- 
ing their food supplies they concluded 
that they would have to reduce each 
child's allotment to a half biscuit a day. 
The younger children could not under- 
stand why they were not allowed to 
have more food and were "continually 
begging for more bread." 20 In the Hunt 
Company a few families decided that it 
(was foolhardy to proceed and returned 
to Fort Laramie. 

The Willie Handcart Company 
made fair progress, and by mid-October 
it was more than eight days ahead of the 
Martin and Hodgetts companies. On 
October 19 the first relief party com- 
manded by George D. Grant found the 
Willie Company 288 miles from Salt 
Lake at the Fifth Crossing of the Sweetwater. They had 
left Salt Lake expecting to meet the handcart company 
in the vicinity of Green River, about 130 miles east of 
Salt Lake. The rescue party was shocked to see the 
condition of the emigrants. Six teams were left to assist 
the Willie Company to help them get to Salt Lake. 
Eight wagons and sixteen teamsters and horsemen then 
proceeded east in search of the trailing handcart and 
wagon companies. 

On the same day that the rescue party found the 
Willie Company on the Sweetwater, Martin's handcart 
company and Hodgetts' wagon company forded the 
last crossing of the Platte River. Crossing the icy river 
was brutally difficult for the handcart people. The next 
day matters took a decided turn for the worse. On 
awakening they discovered that they were covered 
with a light dusting of snow. By the time the compa- 
nies had hitched up their teams, the snow began falling 
again. As there was no shelter or feed at their camp, 
the Hodgetts Company had no choice but to move 
forward. Fortunately for them, Assistant Captain 
Nathan Tanner Porter, who was on his fourth trip 
across the plains, remembered a suitable place a few 
miles up river where he had camped four years previ- 

Nathan Tanner Porter 

From Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah. 

vol. 3 (Salt Lake City: George Q. Cannon & 

Sons, 1892), p ("149 

Summer 1996 
ously. 21 The Hodgetts Company took shelter there, but 
the Hunt Company remained mired in camp on the 
other side of the river. Eight inches of snow prevented 
them from making the river crossing until October 22. 
After this snow storm they were forced to cut down 
cottonwood trees to feed the cattle and willow trees to 
feed the oxen. 

The weather stayed cold and snowstorms contin- 
ued to assail them for a week. Each morning the men 
had to shovel snow to make a track to 
encourage the cattle to get moving. 22 
Cattle, oxen, and wagon company 
members steadily weakened. Food 
provisions, especially flour, were steadily 
dwindling. Some families mixed melted 
snow water with their flour which made 
it "like thin gruel." 23 

Days passed without word of relief. 
Yet, to fortify their flagging hopes, the 
companies gathered daily at the sound of 
the bugle for their prayer meetings. 
Young John Bond usually attended these 
prayer meetings with his family, but he 
was tempted to lag behind once when he 
saw a woman leave her dinner untended 
to go to the meeting. 
I saw sister Scott cooking a nice pot of 
dumplings just before the bugle sounded. 
She hid the dumplings under the wagon, 
being a zealous woman, and went to prayer 
meeting, but I did not go this time. I stood 
back and looked for the dumplings, found them and being so 
hungry I could not resist the temptations, sat down and ate 
them all. I admit that those dumplings did me more good 
than all the prayers that could have been offered. 24 

n October 28 an advance party of three men 
brought welcome news to the Martin handcart 
and Hodgetts wagon companies that a rescue 
effort had been mounted and was pushing ahead 
with all due speed to bring the emigrants in. 2 ''' The rescue 
party was at Red Bluffs, about 65 miles east of Devil's Gate. 
After a very brief halt, these three men hurried on at full 
gallop to bring word of the oncoming relief to the Hunt 
Company, which was encamped fifteen miles behind on the 
Platte River. Daniel W. Jones describes their reception upon 
reaching the Hunt Company encampment: 
On arriving no one noticed us or appeared to care who we 
were. Their tents were pitched in good shape, wood was 
plentiful, and no one seemed concerned. Joseph A. Young 

19. Ibid., p. 20. 

20. Ibid., p. 22. 

21. Nathan Tanner Porter, "Reminiscences," pp. 227-28, LDS Church Ar- 

22. Pay, "A Noble Pioneer," p. 431. 

23. Ibid., p. 432. 

24. Bond, Handcarts West, p. 23. 

25. The advance relief party of three men included Daniel W. Jones, Abel Garr, 
and Joseph A. Young. The latter was Brigham Young's eldest son. (Stella Jaques 
Bell, Life History and Writings of John jaques (1978), p. 148.) 


Annals or Wyo 


Handcarts In A Storm 

From T.B.H. Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints (Salt Lake City: Shepard Book Co., 1904), p. 310 

became offended, not expecting such a cool reception and 
remarked, "Well, it appears we are not needed here." So we 
went down into the bottom and made camp for ourselves. 26 
After awhile someone from the wagon company 
sauntered down to take a look at who was making 
camp near them. Everyone had supposed that it was a 
small group of mountaineers, not an advance relief 
party from Salt Lake. Apparently the Hunt encamp- 
ment was located in a place near several camps of old 
traders, and the passing of small groups of strangers 
was not uncommon during their stay there. However, 
when they recognized these Mormon men, word 
spread quickly throughout the camp. Jones recalled 
that "Soon we were literally carried in and a special 
tent was pitched for our use." There was general 
rejoicing in the camp. Jones noted: "These people were 
just on the eve of suffering, but as yet had not. Quite a 
number of their cattle had died during the snow storm 
which had been on them for nine days." 27 

ith relief on the way, the wagon and 
handcart companies were urged to leave 
their camps and push ahead. After 
having sat in camp for more than a week, 
some of the emigrants in the Hunt Company were 
less than enthusiastic about going to meet the relief 
wagons. Dan Jones noted that a state of lethargy 
permeated the company: 

There was a spirit of apathy among the people. Instead of 
going for their teams at once, several began to quarrel 

about who should go. This made us 
feel like leaving them to take care of 
themselves. 2S 

They mounted their mules in 
disgust and threatened to leave, 
but this action spurred the apa- 
thetic complainers to start to move. 
They pushed ahead sluggishly 
under pathetic road conditions, the 
path alternately muddy and snow- 
packed from intermittent winter 
storms. Daily travel mileage was 
drastically reduced. On November 
2 the Hodgetts Company arrived 
at Devil's Gate where they found 
the Martin Handcart Company 
encamped. Members of the 
Hodgetts Company comman- 
deered some of the log cabins at 
the old trading post there. On 
November 5 the Hunt Company 
arrived at Devil's Gate. Weather 
conditions were bitter. The 
temperature hovered between six 
and eleven degrees below zero. Mary Ann Bond tried 
to take some of the chill off the inside of their wagon at 
bedtime by hanging a bake oven filled with hot wood 
coals from the wagon bows. 29 Dan Jones recounted 
other dire circumstances: 

The winter storms had now set in, in all their severity. The 
provisions we took amounted to almost nothing among so 
many people, many of them now on very short rations, some 
almost starving. Many were dying daily from exposure and 
want of food. We were at a loss to know why others had not 
come on to our assistance. . . . Each evening the Elders would 
meet in council. . . . Cattle and horses were dying every day. 
What to do urns all that could be talked about. 30 
Elizabeth White Stewart, traveling in the Hunt Com- 
pany, also described their awful plight: 
Our two yoke of oxen and one cow had died. . . . We had 
nothing to burn only the wet sage brush from under the 
snow, and melt the snow off the sage for our water to make 
our tea and make our bread with soda and sage water, what 
little we had. The snow was then from three to ten inches 
deep. The ground was frozen so hard they could not drive the 
tent pins, so they had to raise the tent poles and stretch out 
the flaps and bank them down with snow 3 ' 

The company decided to lighten the wagons and 
leave their goods with a detail of men to guard them 
until spring when they could be retrieved. Three days 
were spent unloading the excess goods from the 
wagons into the old cabins at Devil's Gate. Dan Jones 
noted: "Leaving these goods meant to abandon all that 

26. Daniel W. Jones, Forty Years Among the Indians (Salt Lake City: 
Instructor Office, 1890), p. 67. 

27. Ibid., p. 67. 

28. Ibid., p. 68. 

29. Bond, Handcarts West, p. 34. 

30. Jones, Forty Years, pp. 69-70. 

31. "Autobiography of Elizabeth White Stewart," p. [2]. 


nany poor families had upon the earth." 12 Most of the 
:arts from the handcart company were also left here, 
sick and feeble handcart emigrants were loaded into 
some of the emptied wagons so that all could "move on 
is speedily as possible." 33 Seventeen men from the 
-hint and Hodgetts companies were detailed with three 
nen from the rescue company to remain guard over the 
Imloaded property. 34 On November 9 the handcart and 
[vagon companies pulled out. Salt Lake City remained 
nore than 320 miles distant. Dan Jones, one of the 
wenty left to spend the winter at Devil's Gate, fol- 
owed the companies for a few miles. He found a lady 
rom Hunt's company in abject misery sitting beside the 
oad and weeping bitterly. She said it was all too hard 
or her and she was determined to just sit there and die. 
Te urged her to come ahead with him. With his 
■ncouragement she rejoined the wagon company. 35 

On November 9, the same date that the last 
landcart and wagon companies left Devil's Gate, the 
Villie Handcart Company arrived in Salt Lake City. 
\tter Brigham Young received reports of the severity of 
he disaster, he called for increased donations of 
upplies, volunteer teamsters, and wagons from 
)utlying settlements throughout northern Utah. Al- 
hough no complete accounting record remains, well 
>ver 200 wagons were deployed in the effort to rescue 
he handcart and wagon companies. 3h Being more than 
i week ahead of the other companies, the Willie 
-handcart Company was the first group that the relief 

Summer L996 
wagons met on the trail. By November 2, less than two 
weeks after the Willie Company's first encounter with 
the vanguard of the relief wagons, all of the members of 
their company had been loaded into wagons and 
speedily transported to Salt Lake. 

On November 19 the Martin Handcart Company 
was about 80 miles in front of the trailing wagon 
companies when the latter crossed South Pass, 231 
miles from Salt Lake. In an unfortunate mishap due to 
poor communication, assistance to these companies 
from backup teams was delayed. 37 However, by the 
time the Martin Handcart Company reached South Pass 
there were enough wagons for the people to ride in so 
that no one had to walk or push a cart. Thereafter, the 
Martin Company was able to travel at a rate of 25 to 30 
miles a day. 

Daily progress for the trail-weary teams in the 
Hunt and Hodgetts wagon companies was much less. 
Drifted snow on the hillsides forced them to double the 
teams on the wagon. Progress was further slowed by 
their cattle which mixed with other herds and during 
the night were scattered across the area in search of 
scant feed. Subsequently, in the mornings, many cattle 
were simply left on the road. ,s With the temperature 
again falling below zero, cattle simply stopped moving. 
On a bitterly cold morning Jesse Haven noted: "Ther- 
mometer 3 degrees below zero. My cow got down this 
morning. Not able to get up. Had to leave her." 3 " 

After crossing South Pass the Hunt Company 
divided into several smaller groups to accelerate their 

32. Jones, Forty Years, p. 71. 

33. Porter, "Reminiscences," p. 232. 

34. For a vivid account of the experiences of this guard detail at Devil's Gate 
uring the winter of 1856-57, see Jones, Forty Years, pp. 72-114. 

35. Ibid., p. 73. 

36. Journal History, November 2, 1856, p. 1. 

37. A good account of the delayed backup teams is found in Cornwall and 
Arrington, Rescue of the 1856 Handcart Companies, pp. 31-37. 

38. Haven Journal, November 19, 1856. 

39. Ibid., November 21, 1856. 


Relief in Sight 

* m i 

From Ann Eliza Webb Young. Wife No. ;$>, or the Story of a Life in Bondagt 
(Hartford, Conn.: Dustin, Gilman & Co., 1875), p. 215 

,4 ; ! 


Relief in Sic i 


Annals or Wyoming 

Fort Bridger 

From Frederick Piercy and James Linforth, eds., Route from 

Liverpool to Gnat Salt Lake Valley (LIVERPOOL: 

Frankun D. Richards, 1855), p. 98. 

pace. Now rescue efforts were being directed to assist 
the belated wagon companies. On November 21 horse 
teams arrived in the Hunt camp and took about ten 
emigrants to their waiting wagons. The next day fresh 
ox teams sent from Fort Bridger arrived to help bring 
the wagons on ahead. 4 " On November 26 the compa- 
nies began arriving at Green River where there was a 
small trading post. As the feed was good there they 
rested their teams for a day or two. The trailing last 
wagons in the Hunt Company left the trading post on 
November 30. On that day the Martin Handcart 
Company arrived in Salt Lake City but the wagon 
companies still had 170 miles to go to reach the Mor- 
mon capital. On December 2 under Brigham Young's 
direction, sixty horse and mule teams left Salt Lake City 
with a supply of provisions and feed to take to the 
wagon companies. 41 On December 4 the companies 
reached Fort Bridger where it was reported they were 
"quite comfortably situated and in the enjoyment of an 
increased degree of health and buoyancy of feelings." 42 

This news report was decidedly optimistic. 
Provisions were still scarce and what was available 
was expensive. 43 Loads were again lightened and 
arrangements made to leave wagons, oxen, and cattle. 
Brigham Young sent word for the companies to halt at 
Fort Bridger and wait for the relief wagons. Anxious 
to get to the Salt Lake Valley, Jesse Haven ignored 
counsel and set out from the fort. 44 A few miles out on 

40. Camp Journal, November 21-22, 1856, in Journal History, December 25, 
1856, p. 36. 

41. Dcscrct News, December 3, 1856, p. 309. 

42. Ibid., December 10, 1856, p. 317. 

43. Flour, which cost $4.50 per hundred pounds at Florence, cost $13 at Fort 
Bridger. (Dan Jones Emigrating Company Journal, August 28, 1856; Haven 
Journal, December 5, 1856.) 

44. Henry Hamilton Journal, December 8, 1856, LDS Church Archives. 


the trail Haven's group was intercepted by a messen- 
ger from Salt Lake who informed them that wagons 
were en route to bring them all in. Haven decided to 
return to the fort to await rescue. He and others in the 
wagon companies left everything at the fort, opting to 
travel to Salt Lake Valley in the faster-paced horse 
wagons. The rescue wagons began arriving at the fort 
on December 7. 

wo days later the first wagons began the 
return trip loaded with emigrants. Snow 
storms buffeted them every day on the last 
leg of the journey to the valley, on some days 
never letting up. In Echo Canyon the snow was 
eighteen inches deep on the flat. The climb up and over 
Big Mountain was a nightmare. Jesse Haven briefly 
described the conditions on the mountain: "Crossed the 
big mountain. Snow deep on the top of it. Wind blow- 
ing so that in five minutes our track would all be filled < ( 
up." 45 One emigrant noted that they encountered a 
formidable amount of snow on the summit. He esti- 
mated that it was eighteen feet deep and said: "It took 
about 60 of us to dig our way thru [sic] it occupying 
about two hours time to do it/' 46 Although this 
emigrant's estimate of snow depth is almost unbeliev- 
able, a brief notice in the Deseret News reported: "Snow 
is deeper in this valley than at any former period since 
it was settled." 47 Mary Susannah Higgs, who traveled 
with her family in the Hodgetts Company when she 
was eight-years old, recalled that it was so slick coming 
down Big Mountain that the oxen could do nothing but 
slide down. They safely reached the bottom, but while 


45. Haven Journal, December 14, 1856. 

46. James Sherlock Cantwell, "Reminiscence," p. 3, LDS Church Archives. 

47. Deseret News, December 17, 1856, p. 325. 

trying to reach the summit of Little Mountain their 
wagon overturned. Mary sat on a quilt in the snow 
while they turned the wagon right side up again. 48 The 
snow depth on the top of Little Mountain was also 
considerable. Henrv Hamilton, who had to wear 
blothes on his feet for want of shoes, noted that the 
snow on the top of Little Mountain was a foot-and-a- 
ialf above his head. 44 On December 15 the Hunt and 
tfodgetts wagon companies finally arrived in Salt Lake 

ity. Jesse Haven recorded that he shed tears of joy 
^vhen he got his first glimpse of it from the mouth of 
Emigration Canyon. He gave full credit to Brigham 
foung for "doing what he could in geting [sic] the 
brethren to start after us." In his opinion the concerted 
•escue effort mounted by President Young had saved 
heir lives. 50 

The Willie and Martin handcart companies 
suffered five times as many fatalities as the Donner 

arty. Although deaths in the Hunt and Hodgetts 
vagon companies did not begin to approach the 
:asualties suffered by the handcart companies, they 
vere considerable and occurred with some frequency 
ill the way to the Salt Lake Valley. Even though the 
-hint Company clerk did not consistently keep an 
iccount of daily events in the latter part of the journey, 
lit least seventeen deaths were recorded in the camp 
ournal. One of the deaths not recorded in the camp 
ournal, happened on the final day of the journey. After 
mrying three of her children on the trail, Mary Goble, 
suffering a lingering illness which lasted more than two 
nonths, died between Big and Little Mountain. It was 
s if she sustained the will to live almost until the very 
lay that her wagon pulled into the Great Salt Lake 
/alley. Her thirteen-year-old daughter Mary, accompa- 
lying her in the wagon, wrote: "We arrived in Salt Lake 
lity at nine o'clock at night. . . . My mother was dead in 
he wagon." The next day, young Mary had to have her 
rozen toes amputated. The doctor used a saw and a 
>utcher knife. Mary described the sorrowful scene: 
'he [women] were dressing mother for her grave. My poor 
ither walked into the room where mother was then hack to 
s. He could not shed a tear. When my feet were fixed they 
arried us in to see our mother for the last time. That 
ft er noon she was buried. 51 

Mary C. Johnson, a seven-year-old orphan in the 
;lunt Company, suffered severe frostbite. It was neces- 
ary to amputate first her feet above the ankles and then 
ler legs below the knees in order to save her life. Follow- 
ng the death of her parents on the Missouri River at 
harden Grove she was placed in the care of an elderly 
ouple from England who were in the Hunt Company. 
Tiese guardians were careless, unfeeling, and stern. Even 
hough her feet hurt terribly they made her walk most of 
he time. It was reported in a newspaper reminiscence: 

Summer 1996 
"She couldn't go fast enough to suit the old man so he 
would take a whip to her ." S2 Mary was too afraid to 
complain about their cruel and careless treatment, and 
once when allowed to ride in a wagon she fell asleep with 
her feet uncovered. She recalled fifty years later that, 
after arriving at Devil's Gate: 

y feet were found to he frozen very badly. 
While there they were thawed out and turned 
black. The rest of the way I ivas taken care of 
by kind friends; all was done that was possible 
under the circumstances but my feet both dropped off before 
we got to the city. . . . My legs were amputated above the 
ankles and then at the knees. My two brothers had reached 
Salt Lake City in November. How well do I remember our 
meeting. I told them iwt to cry so for I would have my feet 
again when I got to heaven. 53 

The survivors of the ill-fated, late season emigra- 
tion of the Hunt and Hodgetts wagon companies were 
scarred physically and emotionally by their dreadful 
experience. Jesse Haven, who had been a Mormon for 
nineteen years, witnessed that he "saw more suffering . 
. .than I ever saw before among the Saints." He noted 
that he had been in Missouri in 1838 when Governor 
Lilburn W. Boggs issued an order to exterminate or 
expel all the Mormons. He attested: "I was in Missouri 
when the Church was driven from there and I believe 
what the Saints suffered there . . . was nothing more 
than a drop to [sic] a bucket compared to what those 
Saints [in the late-arriving 1856 handcart and wagon 
companies] suffered." 34 

In the annals of Mormon Trail history the travails 
of the 1856 handcart and wagon companies are atypi- 
cal. Nonetheless, the saga of the handcart disaster is 
extraordinary and the story of the two forgotten trailing 
wagon trains is sufficiently compelling to warrant a 
detailed narration. 

52. Spanish Fork Press, September 14, 1924, p. 4. 

53. Mary C. Johnson Parsons, "A Handcart Survivor," Deseret Evening News, 
June 29, 1897, p. 8. Mary lived to be 61 years old. She married and was the mother 
of seven children. She underwent several additional operations but walked on 
her knees for more than fifty years. The elderly couple in the Hunt company who 
were her guardians soon left the Church and returned East. 

54. Haven Journal, December 15, 1856. 

Melvin L. Bahore is a librarian at the Latter Day 
Saints Church Historical Department in Salt Lake 
City and has cmopiled a guide to Mormon Trail 

This article was designed by Melinda Brazzale. 

48. Salt Lake Telegram, February 5, 1949, p. 9. 

49. Hamilton Journal, December 14, 1856. 

50. Haven Journal, December 15, 1856. 

51. Pay, "A Noble Pioneer," p. 432. 


Annals 01 vwoming 

Book R 


Some Significant Recent Books 
in Western and Wyoming History 

When Indians Became Cowboys: Native 
Peoples and Cattle Ranching in the 
American West. 

By Peter Iverson. Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1994. Illus., Notes, Bib., Index. 280 pp. 
Cloth. $24.95 

The main focus of this interesting study by Peter Iverson 
is Native American participation in the cattle ranching in- 
dustry in the American West. Rural life in the West involved 
migration, change, and the creation of cultural homelands, 
the author argues, and ranching provided an economic struc- 
ture upon which a community could he bared. The Native 
American ranching community emerged as a cultural home- 
land in the West unlike any other, and Indian ranchers them- 
selves gained a status that made them enduring community 
leaders among many western tribes. After a two-chapter 
introduction on the impact of Europe on American Indian 
societies, the monograph examines the diffusion of the cattle 
industry in the Northern Plains, Oklahoma, and the south- 
west from the early years of contact to the Indian New Deal 
of the 1930s. Three concluding chapters bring the study up 
to the present and demonstrate the central role of ranching 
and cattle culture in Indians' lives. 

When Indians Became Cowboys insists that Indians 
played a central role in the expansion of the western cattle 
industry after 1865, the Golden Age of cattle ranching. The 
force of events, such as allotment, leasing of tribal bands to 
non-Native ranchers, the Lone Wolf decision (1903), and 
marriage between Indian women and white ranchers, paints 
a picture of Anglo-American encroachment as inevitable. 
Iverson suggests that Indian adaptation and elaboration of 
ranching methods did not change Euroamerican perceptions 
of Indians because Native American ranchers were never 
identified as cowboys. 

Written for the popular audience and undergraduate 
history students, the study presents ranch-based Indian com- 

munities as unique. Iverson vividly shows the special na- 
ture of Indian ranching in his comprehensive discussions of 
cattle ownership policies and practices, rodeos' importance 
to Native communities, and tribal membership debates. 
Ranching culture, according to Iverson, "started to influ- 
ence attire and the play of children, it offered action, it 
provided a kind of role model not only that one would want 
to aspire to but one that could be achieved" (p. 130). This 
cattle culture parallels Vicki Ruiz's cannery culture, except 
that men are at the center. Professor Iverson asserts that the 
post-World War II era saw the development of a similari- 
ties between Indian and white ranchers as the industry de- 
clined. Like white ranchers, Indians created cattle associa- 
tions, which encouraged the emergence of leaders and al- 
lowed many more people to remain on reservations. Tribal 
ranching also benefited from the research developments of 
the United states Department of Agriculture and various 
university agricultural programs. Despite evidence of cross- 
cultural borrowing, many Indians and whites failed to real- 
ize their overlapping interests, particularly as the competi- 
tion for finite resources increased. For example, white stock 
growers in South Dakota sued Oglalas at the Pine Ridge 
Reservation in 1956 for increasing grazing fees. 

Having adopted and elaborated ranching methods for 
their own communities, Indian ranchers nevertheless expe- 
rienced the same marginalization at the hands of the mod- 
ernizing urban world that other ranchers have encountered. 
Iverson thus reveals the dilemma of ranching life as a source 
of social ties and boundaries and as an antiquated economic 
function entirely separated from modern, mainstream soci- 
ety. Iverson concludes this remarkably thoughtful work by 
holding up the social and cultural aspects of ranching life 
as being worthy of incorporation into late twentieth-cen- 
tury, mainstream society. 

Jerry A. Davis 

Assistant Editor 

New Mexico Historical Review, 

University of New Mexico 


Between Indian and White Worlds: The 
Cultural Broker 

Summer 1996 
The lives illuminated in this hook illustrate both the 
rewards and the hazards awaiting those who straddled cul- 
tural borders. 

Edited by Margaret Connell Szasz. Norman: 
University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. Illus., 
Notes, Bib.. Index, xii and 386 pp. Cloth. $45.00 

Cultural brokers are individuals who acted as media- 
tors between Native American and Euroamerican cultures. 
Over the centuries, thousands of these "cultural translators" 
used their familiarity with two disparate cultures to build 
bridges. Some gained power, wealth, and personal satisfac- 
tion, while others found the role difficult to maintain when 
they were not accepted as full members of either groups. In 
Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker, 
Margaret Connell Szasz brings together essays by fourteen 
scholars who offer new insights into the role of these indi- 

The authors examine the variety of individuals who 
used their skills in moving between two worlds. Such people 
clarified diplomatic misunderstandings, softened potential 
conflicts, and stressed the common human spirit from 1690 
to the present. The essays describe the benefits, problems, 
and complexities associated with individual lives, but each 
author approaches the overall topic from a different view- 
point. Some detail the activities of one individual, while 
others deal with cultural brokers as groups. 

Native American intermediaries could assume formal 
and informal duties. Employing linguistic skills, they acted 
as official translators and used their familiarity with elabo- 
rate protocol and ritual to smooth diplomatic contacts. Oth- 
ers operated on an unofficial level, working to help their 
people face the challenge of life in a White-dominated world 
while maintaining as much of their cultural heritage as pos- 
sible. Still others, epitomized by D'Arcy McNickle. who 
served as a broker between Indian cultures, sought to pre- 
serve Indian cultural heritage by focusing not on a single 
tribe but on the "Indianness" which unites all Native Ameri- 
cans. Cultural brokers came from the White culture as well. 
A few White ministers preached the gospel in Native Ameri- 
can languages, related the Christian message in terms of 
Native American cultural experiences, and argued that it 
was not necessary to commit cultural suicide when one 
embraced Christianity. Other Whites worked to enrich and 
maintain the Native American cultures. Robert Young aided 
in the creation of an alphabet by which the Navajo lan- 
guage could be written, and Dorothy Dunn encouraged the 
continuation of Indian crafts and arts. There were also 
Whites, like Helen Hunt Jackson, who drew public atten- 
tion to the plight of the Native Americans. 

Szasz has done an admirable job in collecting mono- 
graphs which explore the ways cultural brokers mediated 
between the Native American and Euroamerican cultures 
and has included an extensive bibliography which will be a 
valuable asset to those whose interest is piqued by the es- 

Bobbalee Schiiler-Hughes 
Hay Springs, Nebraska 

The Story of the Mine, As Illustrated by 
the Great Comstock Lode of Nevada. 

By Charles Shinn. Reno: University of Nevada 
Press, Press Vintage Series, 1980: orginally pub- 
lished in 1896. Illus.. index. 377 pp. $12.95 

While literature abounds concerning the history of the 
great Comstock Lode of Nevada, Charles Shinn's history 
stands apart for several reasons. First, he wrote from (he 
viewpoint of a contemporary in 1896. Although history 
would confirm that the bonanza days of the Comstock were 
over, Shinn believed that the Comstock would rise again to 
a position of mining prominence. He felt a close affinity to 
the prospectors and miners who had found and first devel- 
oped the Comstock lode, and thus he shared the miners' 
eternal optimism that was essential to the pursuit of pre- 
cious minerals. After all. riches of the Comstock had been 
gained only through their unshakable faith in finding the 
"Mother Lode" and their willingness to persevere against 
seemingly insurmountable odds. 

Beyond being an astute contemporary observer. Shmn 
was also well versed in the technology of nineteenth cen- 
tury hard-rock mining. His book provides a wealth of infor- 
mation about the techniques used to reach and remove the 
ore from the ground. However, instead of burying the lay 
reader in an avalanche of technical jargon and discourse. 
Shinn presented a focused discussion about underground 
mining and milling techniques in a readable and understand- 
able format. He omitted or summarized technical aspects 
that were not fundamental to the telling of the history of 
the Comstock. but at the same time, he did not neglect the 
significant technological inventions which were devised to 
solve engineering problems peculiar to the Comstock and 
which were later used throughout the mining industry, such 
as square-set timbering, certain milling processes, power- 
ful water pumps, water pipelines, and siphons. He also gives 
interesting tips about the clever assay techniques used by 
the early prospectors to test promising ores and detect the 
presence of gold and silver, such as "horning a prospect" 
and the use of traditional Spanish milling techniques, such 
as the arrastra to grind and extract the precious metals from 
the ore. 

At the same time, Shinn did not spare the early pros- 
pectors for their inexplicable "ignorance" in not tracing the 
loose placer gold and silver to their source. It took nearly a 
decade of inefficient placer mining in the 1850s to finally 
trace and discover the rich Comstock lode. Additionally, in 


Annals or Wyoming 

their search for gold, the early prospectors routinely threw 
away masses of "'blue stuff" that later proved to be rich 
silver deposits. The author described the "bonanza and 
borrasca" cycle of the Comstock lode that was characteris- 
tic of every mining district in the West. For the continued 
economic prosperity of the Comstock community, like its 
counterparts, was solely dependent on the size and richness 
of the mineral deposits of the Comstock lode. Stock ma- 
nipulations, speculation, and over-optimism could tempo- 
rarily prop up the district during economic and engineering 
downturns and even after the mines were exhausted, but in 
the end the "boom and bust" cycle of a mining camp is 

The colorful and often tragic pioneer figures of the 
Comstock were described by Shinn from "Old Virginia" 
Fennimore ( Finney) to "Old Pancake" Henry T. P. Comstock. 
Shinn was perhaps at his best in describing the individuals 
who made up the Comstock mining community. Although 
the prospector, miner, and mill operator were the central 
figures, an operation of such magnitude as the Comstock 
district required a wide array of auxiliary laborers, includ- 
ing road builders, freighters, stage drivers, and lumbermen. 
The reader is taken on a trip to the "City Underground" to 
observe the miners in their element within the underground 
labyrinth of shafts, tunnels, drifts, cross-cuts, cross-drifts, 
and winzes that make up their world. As the underground 
workings probed to greater depths, heat became the chief 
enemy to the Comstock miners. The intense heat, steaming 
ground water, and foul air could quickly drain the miners 
of energy and reduce them to "half-dead" men who "lost 
their wits, raved, sang, and talked like lunatics" (p. 229). 
Shinn related that from 1 863 to 1 880, the Virginia City news- 
papers reported three hundred fatalities and twelve hun- 
dred severe accidents in the Comstock mines. The condi- 
tions peculiar to such a "dreary and exhausting employ- 
ment" made the Comstock miners "a people with vast ca- 
pacities for love, hate, sarcasm, laughter, for terrible wrath, 
and for sublime self-sacrifice. The vast fortunes made and 
lost in mining stocks and the fluctuations in real values of 
the mines themselves, insensibly warped the judgment and 
made the whole community restless, eager, ever anxious 
for sudden gains" (p. 243). 

For readers without a working knowledge of the geog- 
raphy of the region, the text would be better served by a 
map of the Comstock mining district in relation to Nevada 
and other important mining districts in the western United 
States. A more detailed map of the important claims and 
mining camps would also augment the text in visualizing 
the physical layout of the district. 

Finally, the reader will be fascinated by Shinn's writ- 
ing style, filled with classical allusions to Greek and Ro- 
man mythology, Shakespeare, and the Bible. He also en- 
riched his narrative with folklore tales told by contempo- 
rary miners, freighters, and other members of the Comstock 
community. His writing style contrasts markedly from that 
of some of today's historians with their narrow scholarly 
background and inferior writing skills. But it serves as just 

the right vehicle for telling the story of a bygone era when 
the West and American society were more youthful, inno- 
cent, and vibrant. 

Robert G. Rosenberg 
Rosenberg Historical Consultants 
Cheyenne, Wyoming 

Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land 

By John Opie. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press, 1993. Illus., Notes, Index, xxii and 412 
pp. Cloth. $35.00 

In this challenging approach to writing a history of a 
water aquifer, John Opie constructs the history of an entire 
region. Based on the premise that the area's history is locked 
up in the elusive dream that sustainable agriculture was 
possible by drawing from natural sources, Opie points out 
how private efforts, federal policies, and locally inspired 
proposals all try to deal with the aridity of the plains. Even- 
tually, realities set in, and such efforts can not succeed. The 
seemingly inexhaustible supply of water from deep within 
the Ogallala aquifer has its limits. When it comes to water 
allocation, man has been unable to outsmart nature. 

As Opie notes, economic and agricultural policy pro- 
vided a crucial incentive for farmers to become heavily re- 
liant on what was not a renewable water source. The result 
was an artificially conceived economic base that was bound 
for regular booms and busts with little hope for a long-term 

Opie begins with a broad description of the geological 
history of the Ogallala aquifer, the most significant source 
of water in the Great Plains. Although it stretches north 
into South Dakota and south into central Texas. Opie's study 
is confined to a narrower area of western Kansas, Okla- 
homa and the Texas panhandle. As he indicates, however, 
the issues remain the same above other regions covering 
the aquifer. 

Turning to initial settlement in the area, Opie demon- 
strates that early attempts to provide dependable water 
sources made agriculture possible initially. As technology 
advanced, agricultural science applied new systems for 
pumping water from deep beneath the ground in cost effec- 
tive ways. As Opie contends by the end of the book, how- 
ever, the days of easy-to-reach water are fast approaching 
and the costs of drawing water from the Ogallala formation 
eventually will make agriculture either adapt to new meth- 
ods requiring less water or disappear altogether. The most 
important lesson in the book is that "The High Plains envi- 
ronment was and is easily harmed" (p. 31 1). The biggest 
harm comes from imprudent use of water resources. 

Through intensive research that goes beyond that of 
most historians, Opie makes a persuasive case. In terms of 
methodology, the work may prove to be a model for future 
environmental histories in which geology, economics, and 
scientific agricultural methods tell the history of a region 


scientific agricultural methods tell the history of a region 
more clearly and poignantly than simple reliance on the 
human story. 

In some respects, the Ogallala story is unique. As Opie 
notes. "Pumping the Ogallala is still a one-time experiment. 
unrepeatable and irreversible" (p. 286). Nonetheless, the 
tale is instructive about how humans continue the struggle 
to overcome nature. The results are rarely intended or their 
causes well understood. For those who remained 
unconvinced of man's limitations, the Ogallala case is both 
an example and a warning. Opie says it well in this impor- 
tant book, a must-read for those interested in environmen- 
tal history as well as the history of the Great Plains. 

Phil Roberts 

Assistant Professor of History 

University of Wyoming 

The Adventures of Moccasin Joe: True 
Life Story of George S. Howard 

Edited hy Susan C. Reneau. Missoula: Blue 
Mountain Publishing Co., 1994. Illus.. Bib.. 
Index, xvi and 205 pp. Paper. $19.95 

This book tells the true story of a man who began his 
military career as an eleven year old drummer boy in the 
Union Army during the Civil War and later, in 1X72. en- 
listed in the Second Cavalry Regiment of the Regular Army. 
He saw five years of military service, four of them during 
the Sioux Indian wars. Though narrowly missing participa- 
tion in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Howard did fight in 
the battles of Powder River, the Rosebud, and Slim Buttes. 
Of special interest to this reviewer, who was involved in the 
National Park Service restoration of Fort Laramie in east 
central Wyoming, were Howard's insights about his scout- 
ing duty at Ft. Laramie where every patrol risked encoun- 
ters with Indians. Howard survived all these military en- 
counters, but later, as a 36 year old civilian, he was killed 
under obscure circumstances by a railroad guard. 

Reneau fortuitously discovered Howard's writings in 
the possession of his 90-year old daughter. They are in three 
distinct parts: "Scenes. Insights and Sketches of Life in the 
Far West." consisting of both diary and narratives; over fifty 
pages of intriguing poems, apparently composed while cam- 
paigning; and newspaper clippings from the turn of the cen- 
tury. All of these writings are digested in analytical chap- 
ters by Reneau who spent several years in tracking down 
the diary, haunting the National Archives, Library of Con- 
gress, and other repositories, and making extended field 
trips to forts and battlefield sites. 

The original diary is a'hard-cover ledger book belong- 
ing to "Moccasin Joe" (this pseudonym was Howard's own 
invention). It was with him on his campaigns and was some- 
times used as a pillow. Besides hardships and combat, al- 

Summer 1996 

most everything is recorded in this ledger, including a list 
of 121 lady friends with whom this extraordinary man was 
involved (in sequence, we assume, rather than collectively). 
It also records that Howard had a friendly acquaintance with 
Sitting Bull and other notable Indians. 

This book is a rare testimony hy an enlisted man in the 
Indian wars. Most personal military accounts are autobiog- 
raphies of Army officers. Because of the brilliant incisive 
way in which Howard's material has been handled by 
Reneau, this reviewer believes that this book should be a 
prime candidate for a literary award. 

Merrill J. Mattes 

National Park Service, retired 


Ed. Note: We were saddened to lectin of the demit of Mr. 
Mattes in the summer of 1Wf>. A salute and remembrance 
of his distinguished career and contributions to Western 
history will be printed in a forthcoming issue 

Camping Out in the Yellowstone, 1882 

By Mary Bradshaw Richards. Edited by William 
W. Slaughter. Salt Lake City: University of Utah 
Press, 1994. Illus., Notes, xxxii and 108 pp. 
Paper. $10.95 

Camping Out in the Yellowstone. 1882 is a reprint of 
the 1910 edition of Mary Richards' Yellowstone articles 
which were first printed in the Salem (Massachusetts! t)h- 
server. While hundreds of memoirs about our first National 
Park exist, this one deserves closer examination. Her daily 
entries are well written, very informative, and highly enter- 
taining. The new introduction and notes by William W. 
Slaughter are invaluable. 

When Mary Bradshaw Richards visited Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park in 1882, the area was still very much a wilder- 
ness. Travel was by horseback, and visitors camped out in 
tents, supplementing food stores by fishing and hunting. 
The few roads in the Park were often muddy tracks covered 
with tree stumps and boulders. There were buildings and 
outposts of civilization, but they were crude at best and 
most served the needs of the soldiers stationed in the Park. 
The hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and rest areas that the 
modern visitor take for granted were not to he found in 
1882. Many dangers faced the visitor to the Park during 
these early years, and while Indians were no longer a worry, 
outlaws, animals, injury, and sickness could all cause de- 
lays, bodily harm, and even death. Everything needed by 
travelers had to be brought with them. 

Travel into the Park in 1882 required extensive prepa- 
ration and a long list of supplies. Richards describes in de- 
tail their 'outfit,' or stores required for her and her husband 
on their two week journey. From the wall tent and blankets, 
hardware and cooking supplies, driver, cook, and wagon, 


Annals or Wyoming 

this outfit, costing eighteen dollars a day, would provide 
them with everything they needed. Throughout the book, 
Richards portrays camp life in detail, giving us a glimpse 
into a mode of travel foreign to the majority of late twenti- 
eth century Park visitors. Her descriptions about the attrac- 
tions of the Park are no less informative, with each site 
visited by the party minutely described and so well written 
that the sites, sounds, and smells of Yellowstone can be ex- 
perienced by the reader. 

William Slaughter's introduction and explanatory notes 
provide the historical context for Richards' account. Not 
only does he give a succinct history of the Park before 1882 
but he fleshes out Mary Bradshaw Richards, making her a 
person, not just a tourist or author. His notes fill-in gaps in 
Richards's narrative and give fuller information about some 
of the sites described in the book. Slaughter's work serves 
well as an introduction to the history of Yellowstone for 
those who do not want to tackle the larger standard works 
by Aubrey Haines and Richard Bartlett. Likewise, Camp- 
ing Out in the Yellowstone. 1882 is a much more enjoyable 
and readable memoir than many of the more commercially 
minded memoirs published before 1900. Slaughter and the 
University of Utah Press should be commended for bring- 
ing this long out of print work back into circulation. 

Christina Stopka 

Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody 

The Ritualization of Mormon History 
and Other Essays 

By Davis Bitton. Urbana: University of Illinois 
Press, 1994. xii and 194 pp. Cloth, $25.95 

Dr. Davis Bitton has written a very interesting book 
consisting of nine essays dealing with a variety of topics 
about Mormon History. His choice of issues and how he 
elects to present them make this book both informative and 
entertaining. He uses his firsthand familiarity with primary 
sources effectively in presenting his "accounts" of life and 
living among these "peculiar" people. 

His introduction includes a general but brief overview 
of Mormon history that will permit the general reader to 
place his essays in proper historical context. He also pro- 
vides a concise synopsis of each article and includes his 
own reasons for writing it. 

His first essay, "Clearly Mormon Life Styles: or Saints 
as Human Beings," discusses everything about their ordi- 
nary lives, including patterns of settlement, materials for 
building homes, mobility, clothing, foods, and attitudes to- 
ward medicine, temple building, the coming of the "last 
days," the final judgment, and the coming of the Millen- 
nium. His quotations are delightful. 

In "Polygamy Defended: One Side of the Nineteenth- 
Century Polemic," the author reviews Mormon arguments 


ranging from a proper outlet for man's natural inclinations 
to God's holy commandment. Opponents, on the other hand, 
saw moral decay and sin. Readers will see the paranoia on 
each side of the debate. 

The third article, "Zion's Rowdies: Growing up on the 
Mormon Frontier," presents the various images of Mormon 
children as seen from within and outside of the community, 
ranging from "dirty and depraved" to "highly attractive." 
Delinquency among the Mormon youth was also a serious 
issue. And while Mormon pedagogy for children was simi- 
lar to national attitudes, the Mormon reactions became in- 
stitutional programs and policies for solutions by the late 
1860s and 1870s. 

Next, Bitton discusses "Bard of Utah's Dixie: Charles 
Lowell Walker and His Verse." Walker's extensive writings 
cover a good deal of Mormon history, with particular em- 
phasis on Utah's Dixie, where he finally settled. He was 
called upon frequently to write a poem or song for special 

In article five, readers get a good picture of 
"Mormonism's Encounter with Spiritualism." Bitton in- 
cludes comments about spiritualism from church leaders 
and from people directly involved with the movement in 
Utah during the 1860s and later, such as the liberal 
"Godbeites." It seemed to be the "revelatory" dimension to 
both Mormonism and spiritualism that attracted many Mor- 
mons, including Mormon Apostle Amasa M. Lyman. 

"These Licentious Days: Dancing Among the Mor- 
mons" is a delightful account that traces dancing attitudes 
and practices from dancing in the Nauvoo Temple to 20th 
century accommodation. Waltzing was not opposed after 
about 1913, for example. Pioneers danced on their treks 
west. But when dancing occurred outside Church-owned 
facilities and without official sponsorship and began to in- 
clude round dancing and waltzing, it presented a signifi- 
cant problem for the older folks. Bitton comments that lead- 
ers' resistance to change is understandable, but that "the 
exact details and the precise rules to follow will vary with 
the shifting circumstances" (p. 113). 

"Tithe Ordeal of Brigham Young, Jr." provides a brief 
but excellent biographical sketch of Prophet Young's name 
sake and son. The author traces "Briggie's" life from birth 
(1832) through Nauvoo to Zion. where he was for a time 
one of "Zion's Rowdies." He would, however, mature into 
a faithful follower, a missionary to Europe, Apostle, coun- 
selor and companion to his father, and business advisor. 
Still, he would always see himself in his illustrious father's 
shadow. He became very conservative in his outlook and 
was slow to accept the changes that Mormonism had to 
make to enter the twentieth century. He died in 1903. 

The author's account of "Tithe Exclusion of B. H. Rob- 
erts from Congress" gives readers excellent insights into 
the man and the issues— his campaign, the election (1898), 
the opposition, the debate, and his rejection because he was 
a polygamist. Yet, Roberts retained his sense of humor in 
accepting the inevitable. Bitton concludes that Roberts had 
tried the impossible. 

Finally, in "The Ritualization of Mormon History," the 
author details how dates, events, and personalities became 
the focal points for celebrating Mormon history in song, 
pageants and ceremonies, and through monuments and statu- 
ary. While the author recognizes that such "history" is a 
distortion of actual history, he postulates: "Ritualized his- 
tory is not satisfactory for all purposes. By definition it is 
simplified. . . . But the fact is that most people are not his- 
torians—which is to say that most of us will possess our 
history ritualistically or not possess it at all" (p. 183). 

While Bitton may be challenged on a few of his "ex- 
planations" or even "apology*' for some Mormon Church 
leaders' attitudes and actions, what he has written is an in- 
formative book of history, and one readers will read and 
remember with delight. 

Melvin T. Smith 
Mt. Pleasant, Utah 

A Conspiracy of Optimism 
Management of the National Forests 
Since World War Two 

By Paul W. Hirt. Lincoln: University of Nebraska 
Press. 1994. Illus., tables, notes, bib., index, liv 
and 416 pp. Cloth, $40.00 

Paul Hirt has written a well-organized institutional his- 
tory of the United States Forest Service, focusing on the pe- 
riod 1945 to 1960. As an environmental historian, he is se- 
verely critical of the Forest Service. From the extensive in- 
troduction through to the concluding chapter. Hirt clearly 
states his philosophical bias. The Forest Service, he believes, 
tried to be everything to everyone, satisfying no one and nearly 
destroying forest ecosystems in the process. 

The postwar years were a watershed to the agency. Prior 
to the war. the Forest Service had been custodians of wildlife 
habitat, soil, water, and wilderness. After the war economic 
prosperity brought the housing boom and increased outdoor 
recreation, changing the sen ices' focus away from protect- 
ing forests to developing resources. In order to meet escalat- 
ing demands on its lands, the Forest Service struggled to meet 
all uses through intensive management — the greater use of 
technology, labor, and capital to sustain high levels of pro- 
duction and. at the same time, protect forest ecosystems. This 
belief that all uses could be accommodated led to a "con- 
spiracy of optimism." 

Hirt perceives the Forest Service becoming a closer part- 
ner with the timber industry 'hroughout the 1950s and 1960s. 
As explicit examples of this one-sided business relationship, 
Hirt uses the liquidation of old forests, the change from se- 
lective cutting to clearcutting, the prevention of fire and in- 
sect infestations, the construction of extensive road systems, 
the below-cost sales to the industry, and the allowance of 

Summer L996 

escalating timber operations. During this time wildlife and 
recreation constituents became marginalized. As a result, 
environmentalists, who had been supportive of the Forest 
Service before the war, became increasingly vocal in their 
criticism. Further, the concept of multiple use led to the per- 
ception that forests were revenue-producing properties. Only 
in the 1980s, as the public recognized that the forests were 
losing money and the ecosystems were endangered, did the 
conspiracy of optimism end. 

Conspiracy of Optimism is one of the better organized 
doctoral dissertations. Hut's introduction summarizes his 
interpretation. Each chapter also has an introduction, which 
presents the issues, and a conclusion, which pros ides the in- 
terpretive perspective and anticipates the next chapter. While 
this produces redundancy, it hammers home his thesis. In 
addition, the book is well documented. Hirt even includes a 
thoughtful and evaluative historiographical essay. 

The largest problem with the book is that it is boring. Its 
best use will be as a reference book. Most general readers 
will not be interested in an institutional history with a single 
predominant thesis largely devoid of people. As with most 
institutional histories, bureaucratic jargon is used extensively, 
and tediously. The characterization of some of the Forest 
Service leaders would have made the book more interesting. 
The use of a few narrative techniques would also have bro- 
ken the monotony. The small field of environmental histori- 
ans, however, will welcome Hirt's contribution. 

Melody Webb 

Assistant Superintendent 
Grand Teton National Park 

Differing Visions: Dissenters in 

Mormon History 

Edited by Roger D. Launius and Linda Thatcher. 
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994. 
Notes, index, xiv and 402 pp. Cloth, $32.50 

In an effort to restructure the fullest possible picture of 
the history of the complex and multifaceted religious move- 
ment popularly known as Mormonism, Roger D. Launius 
and Linda Thatcher have assembled seventeen previously 
unpublished, scholarly essays about the lives of Mormon 

Since the inception of Mormonism in 1830. more than 
100 schismatic movements have split from the parent Mor- 
mon organization. Today it is estimated that as many as 
fifty organized religious groups continue to exist under the 
umbrella of Mormonism. Even though dissent is consid- 
ered a threat to religious harmony, the search for God's will 
can lead to a rigid orthodoxy or to diverse, radical, or bi- 
zarre convictions. It is not surprising that as a dynamic, 
evolving institution Mormonism has attracted and thrown 
off a wide divergence of people. Likewise splinter groups 
have had their own dissenters. 


Annals of Wyoming 

Dissent has involved differences of opinion with the 
established church on issues of doctrine, rites, or gover- 
nance. Some dissenters continued to accept some doctrines, 
some repudiated the accepted faith but remained loyal to 
their own different understanding of Mormonism, some flit- 
ted from one Mormon faction to another, others never for- 
mally left the Church but ceased activity and questioned 
leaders and authority, while still others set out to disprove 
their former faith. 

The first generation of Mormon dissent appeared in 
the 1 830s and was directed more at Joseph Smith, Jr.'s lead- 
ership than against the Church. The mid- 1 840s saw the great- 
est dissenting episode take place. Following the death of 
Joseph Smith, many members disagreed over leadership or 
the theological direction of Mormonism. No fewer than fif- 
teen separate religious groups emerged at this time over 
issues of succession and authority. 

During and following the migration of the largest Mor- 
mon group to Utah, more dissent emerged over issues of 
authority, personality clashes, and a lack of personal com- 
mitment among some members. During the remainder of 
the 19th century, the revelatory tradition of Mormonism 
continued to be subject to counter claims. "Heretics" rein- 
terpreted, restructured, or reordered the parent Church be- 
liefs to coincide with their own beliefs and priorities. In all 
periods there were always those who were more "social 
Mormons" than "converted Mormons" and some of these 
drifted away to become vocal critics. The Utah Church de- 
cision in 1890 to end plural marriage, reinforced by the 
2nd or Smith Manifesto of the early 20th century, lead 
Mormon fundamentalists to dissent. To the present time 
dissenters have continued to evolve from orthodoxy because 
of conservative inflexibility in dealing with members hold- 

ing opposing views on moral or political issues or due to 
the development of beliefs opposed to the orthodox doc- 
trines of the Church. 

Until the publication of Differing Visions the subject 
of dissent from within the Latter Day Saint movement has 
been sadly neglected. Little study was given to what at- 
tracted eventual dissenters to Mormonism in the first place, 
what prompted them to dissent, or what continuing influ- 
ence Mormonism retained in their lives. The authors deal 
with these issues as they discuss the dissenters of various 
periods of Mormon history and the development of their 
theological perspectives. 

The authors are themselves diverse: some are mem- 
bers of the Utah LDS Church, some of the Reorganized 
Church, some are unaffiliated and others are members of 
other Christian denominations. The articles are presented 
chronologically beginning with the 1830s and working for- 
ward to the present. Some of the dissenters discussed will 
be familiar to most readers, others are more obscure. The 
research is thorough, the writing and interpretations inter- 
esting and provocative, and errors such as that on page 270 
that places Colorado City in New Mexico rather than Ari- 
zona are few and minor. 

Mormons and non-Mormons, historians and the lay 
public will find this work a valuable addition to the grow- 
ing historical literature that strives to give a fuller picture 
about the Mormon past and to demonstrate its significance 
for the present. 

Wayne K. Hinton 
Professor of History 
Southern Utah University 

' ■.--■■■»■ 

i I j v> jr is.. l M^» * ■ 

1997 Wyoming Historical CjflMdar 


* 1*1.3 


South Pass, 

James Chisholms 
Journal of the 
Wyoming Gold Rush 

Introduced and edited 
by Lola M. Homsher 

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$12 paper 

again in paper 

Trails of 

Introduction by 
Nellie Snyder Yost 

One of the best firsthand 
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Plains in the 1870s and 
$12 paper 

Trails Plowed 

Stories of the 
Old West 

Introduction by 
Will Rogers 
Introduction to the 
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Trails Plowed Under "is 
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dealing with the West of 
the present century." 
— J. Frank Dobie, Dallas 
Morning News 
$12 paper 

The Outlaw 

A History of Butch 
Cassidy and 
His Wild Bunch 

Introduction by Daniel 
Buck and Anne Meadows 

"An excellent history of the 
lives and exploits of the 
better-known outlaws of 
the Northwest." 
—Ramon Adams, Six- 
Guns and Saddles 
$ 1 4 paper 

The Saloon 
on the Rocky 
Mining Frontier 


"[West] has stripped away 
convincingly the 
sentimentality and 
sensationalism that have 
obscured our understand- 
ing of the drinking 
establishment." — Journal 
of American History 
$12 paper 

Wago n Worn e n , 
Volume 3 

Introduction by 
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"The writing is rich with 
the sounds of common 
speech and jargon." 
— John Mack Faragher, 
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y>j •• 

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Lincoln NE • 800-755-1 105 

Press publishers of Bison Books 




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Annals of Wyoming Board of Editors 

Barbara Allen Bogart 
Euanston (1996) 

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Torrington (1996) 

Lawrence M. Woods 
Worland (1996) 

John D. McDermott 

Sheridan (1997) 
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Gifts in Memory of: 
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About the Cover Art: 

In the summer or 1874, Lt. Col. George A. Custer and a force or 1,000 
well-armed soldiers ana 110 wagons from Fort Abraham Lincoln, N. D., 
explored the Black Hills. On July 23, Custer and a small group or men 
climbed Inyan Kara Mountain in what is now northeastern Wyoming. The 
morning following the ascent, the expedition turned eastward into the heart 
or the Black Hills. That evening, July 24, they camped in the valley or Cold 
Springs Creek. The next day, they continued up the same valley for about 
twelve more miles. The painting, done by Dave Paulley, depicts Floral 
Valley, one or the valleys that the expedition traveled through on that day. 
The painting, one or several commissioned to commemorate the Wyoming 
Centennial or Statehood, is held in the collections or the Wyoming State 
Museum, Division or Cultural Resources, Department or Commerce, 

Wyoming State Historical Society 
Executive Committee, 1996-1997 

Mike Cassity, President 

Patty Myers, First Vice President 

Mike Jording, Second Vice President 

Sherry Taylor, Secretary 

Rick Ewig, Treasurer 

Barbara Bogart 

Glen Morris 

Linda Fabian 

Marna Grubb 

Rock Springs 

Membership Coordinator 
Judy West 

WSHS Publications Committee 

Michael Cassity, 

Rick Ewig, 

Loren Jost, 

David Kathka, 

Rock Springs 
Phil Roberts, 

Amy Lawrence, 

Albany County 

Governor of Wyoming 
Jim Geringer 

Wyoming Department of Commerce 

Gene Bryan, Director 

Karyl Robb, Administrator, Division of 

Cultural Resources 

Parks and Cultural Resources 

William Dubois, Cheyenne 
Michael J. Devine, Laramie 
Laurie Latta, Pinedale 
Rosie Berger, Sheridan 
David Peck, Lovell 
Herb French, Newcastle 
Jere Bogrett, Riverton 
Hale Kreycik, Douglas 
Jeanne Hickey, Cheyenne 

1 c 

una Is of I 


The 'Journal oj the 'Wyoming State Historical Society 
Autumn 1996 'Vol. 68, 9{p. 4 

The Rural School Problem: Teacher Shortages in Early Wyoming Education -> 

By Scott Hanley 

Year in and rear out, the rural schools in Wyoming faced a shortage of instructors, unable to find enough to fill all of the 
classrooms. If a school did find a capable teacher, she rarely stayed long at a rural school. If she was a poor quality 
teacher, she would probably soon quit in frustration, perhaps even in the middle of the term. If she was competent, she 
would soon find a better position elsewhere. 

Sam Berry, Hired Gun 22 

By Ester Johansson Murray 

A beautiful meadow four miles north ofPahaska Teepee in the North Absaroka Wilderness area of northwest Wyoming 
bears the name "Sam Bern- Meadow. " It is a peaceful memorial to an enigmatic, larger-than-life figure that once roamed 
the Cody country. Who was he What brought him to northwest Wyoming? 

A Burial of Convenience?: The Story of the Pinckney W. Sublette Graves 7q 

By Dorothy B. Duffin 

Who is buried at the gravesite in Sublette Count}' on which a tablet memorializes the youngest of the famous Sublette 
brothers'? Duffin explores the mystery and the fascinating journey of the human remains from the Fontenelle to a storage 
box in the St. Louis courthouse and then back to Sublette County. Are the bones those of Pinckney Sublette? 

Wyoming Memories: 

The 1996 Wyoming State Historical Society Trek, Weston County Sites 37 

By Dr. Mike Jording, Mabel Brown, Larry Berger, Leonard Cash, 
Alice M. Tratebas, Mary Capps 

Recent Acquisitions in the Hebard Collection, University of Wyoming Libraries 45 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hert 

Letter to the Editor 46 

Book Reviews 47 

Bogart, In Place: Stories of Landscape & Identity from the American West, reviewed by Winifred Sawaya Wasden 47 

Brown. Hog Ranches of Wyoming: Liquor. Lust, and Lies Under Sagebrush Skies, reviewed by Walter Jones 47 

Lindmier and Mount, I See By Your Outfit: Historic Cowboy Gear of the Northern Plains, reviewed by Peg Tremper....48 

Annals of Wyoming :The Wyoming History Journal is published by the Wyoming State Historical Society in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Commerce, 
the American Heritage Center. University of Wyoming, and the Department of History, University of Wyoming. The journal was formerly known as the Quarterly 
Bulletin (1923-25), Annals of Wyoming (1925-1993), Wyoming Annals (1993-1995), and Wyoming History Journal ( 1995-1996). The Annals has been the official 
publication of the Wyoming State Historical Society since 1953. The editor of Annals of Wyoming welcomes manuscripts on every aspect of Wyoming and Western 
history. Authors should submit manuscripts on diskettes utilizing Word Perfect, Microsoft Word or ASCII text, and two copies double-spaced hard copy to: Annals 
of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal. P. O. Box 4256, University Station, Laramie, WY 82071. Manuscripts should conform to A Manual of Style (University 
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Annals of Wyoming: The Wyoming History Journal is received by members of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Current membership is 2,150. Membership dues 
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your local chapter or write WSHS, 1740H 184 Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne W Y 82009. Articles in Annals are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History 
and Life. 

ISSN: 1086-7368 

Copyright Wyoming State Historical Society 1996 

P wlieM 

Moorcroft school, c. 1908. L. H. Robinson Collection, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming 

Teailo Gfo>tA$e* in £*>ly Wy***«H$ education 

^^^ ne summer in 1924, Howard Bell, the superin 
M^W tendent ofSchool I )istricl No. 6 in Park Count) . 
^^^ Wyoming, lound himself confronted by a 
young woman seeking a job. Eighteen-year-old May 
Nordquist had just come from the County 
Superintendent's office, where she had learned there 
might be an opening for a teacher in the Monument 
Hill school. She was nervous, feeling less assertive than 
she was about to act, but she tried not to let it show. 
"Taking the 'bull by the horns' so to speak, I simply 
asked if the opening was available and if he would con- 
sider me for the position," she later wrote. The inter- 
view took place on the spot. "After a few searching 
questions as to my qualifications he stated that the job 
was mine. I have often wondered why. .. for my train- 
ing was pretty inadequate. ' 

So began another teaching career in the rural 
schools of Wyoming. If May 
Nordquist was surprised at 
how easily she found her job, 
she need not have been. Dur- 
ing the early decades of Wyo- 
ming statehood, openings in 
rural schools were the norm. 
A school might well lack a 
teacher only a week before 
the term was to begin, as was 
the case at Monument Hill 
that summer.- Year in and 
year out, the rural schools 
faced a shortage of instructors, unable to find enough 
to fill all of the classrooms. For that reason, they often 
could not afford to be as selective as they might have 
liked. Wyoming's small population was scattered so 
thinly across the state that many rural areas found it 
impractical to consolidate their schools. Instead, each 
had to struggle along with only a few students and a 
small tax base, while the demand for teachers often 
exceeded the supply. Even in 1922, fifty-four years after 
the creation of Wyoming Territory, State Superinten- 
dent of Public Instruction Katherine Morton could still 

[Consolidation] is doubtless the ideal solution of the 
rural school problem, but until Wyoming is more 
densely populated than at present, and possessed of 
more roads of the excellent quality now being con- 
structed over the state, this solution will not apply to a 
great number of schools. J 

So the need for teachers remained high. There were 
just too many classrooms that needed filling. The dif- 
ficulties for a teacher in a rural school were well known. 

Autumn 1996 
The weather and the terrain could make travel arduous 
indeed. In many mountainous areas, the solution was 
simply to declare nature the winner and not hold school 
during the winter months, opting instead for split terms 
in the spring and late summer."* In more cooperative 
climates, the traditional school year prevailed. Con- 
verse County residents, for example, found their win- 
ter storms to be less nuisance than "the protracted hot 
weather in summer." Consequently, most districts 
within that county held classes from September through 
May or early June A 

For those who did hold class during the winter, 
simply getting to school could be difficult enough. But 
once there, the teacher's work had only begun. May 
Shoemaker taught in a Big Horn County school, where 
she found the typical conditions: 

A te<AeAe> >A>e(f ittytdl hv%$ At a 

>H>a( tcfool* t( *At %UA* A f09> 
ttAtfa*, *(*t MJOtdd pwCAlty i99H <{ukt 

<h (>nft>Athhr fttbApi even Ce(ff>e 
t6e end &( tAe ten** t( *Ae wa* 
epptpttent, ifa wu(4 **oh (fad a 
Cette> pvutiOH e(*evle>e' 

At school the teacher did all 
the janitor work, which con- 
sisted of sweeping the school- 
room and building a fire in 
the box-type wood heater. 
There was no way to regulate 
the heat. Those sitting in seats 
nearest the stove were un- 
comfortably hot while those 
in the corners sat with cold 
feet. The seats were old-fash- 
ioned double ones, but never 
quite enough for 20 pupils. 
In such cases benches with- 
out backs answered the purpose while the books lay 
on the bench beside the student. Paper was not used 
for daily lessons as a rule. Slates took the place of 
paper. Those slate pencils were hard to sharpen and 
those which were made entirely of slate (no wood 
covering) broke easily when dropped. The lessons 
turned in on slates often got erased or smeared be- 
fore the teacher got to check them.^ 

Under such conditions, openings for new teachers 
would always be available, even for those whose train- 
ing was, like Nordquist's, "pretty inadequate." A teacher 
rarely stayed long at a rural school. If she was a poor 
teacher, she would probably soon quit in frustration, 

'Letter from May Nordquist Ballenger. Wyoming Retired 
Teachers Association (WRTA) Collection #6467, Box #1, Ameri- 
can Heritage Center, Laramie, Wyoming. 

2 Ibid. 

■> Wyoming. Biennia/ Report of the State Superintendent of 
Public Instruction (1921-1022), 20. 

* "Early Day Schools Recalled," The Douglas Budget. May 1, 
1975, in the WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

5 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1896-1898). 48. 

° Letter from May D Shoemaker, WRTA Collection, Box #1 

Annals oi Wyoming 

perhaps even before the end of the term. If she was 
competent, she would soon find a better position else- 
where. The problem was hardly new in 1924, when 
Nordquist began. In 1 892, Mary Watkins, Superinten- 
dent of Schools in Johnson County, wrote that "very 
few schools keep a teacher longer than one term, and 
the terms are very short." 7 Eight years later, the super- 
intendent in Fremont County, Mary Mason, elaborated: 
Some of our schools suffer these conditions — short 
terms through lack of funds, change of teachers from 
the same cause. No teacher can live upon the wages 
earned in three or four months' term each year. They 
must seek employment elsewhere, leaving the School 
Board to secure whom they can. This cause also forces 
the School Board to hire incompetent teachers, for it is 
a case of necessity - "poor teachers or none," as a good 
teacher will seek schools with longer terms and better 
wages. 8 

The previous report, in 1 898, had contained a simi- 
lar complaint from Big Horn County; "[W]hen a good 
teacher is secured, he or she should be retained. As it is 
in most cases, too frequent changes are made." 9 Re- 
taining teachers, however, was not so easy. 

Turnover was widespread and persistent. Park 
County's Upper Sage Creek school went from 1914 
through 1918 without a single teacher staying more 
than a year. This had to be especially frustrating for the 
local people, as they could remember the 1907 loss of 
a highly regarded instructor who was lured away to a 
better position in Cody. According to Margaret Hoglund 
Coe, the rural residents were so infuriated that they 
seceded from the Cody school district. However, they 
were still without a teacher. ^ 

Unfortunately for parents and children outside of a 
town, turnover of this sort was all too common. Part of 
the problem was money. A one-room schoolhouse rep- 
resented only a few taxpayers, who could not afford to 

7 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1891-1892), 41. 

8 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1899-1900), 33 

9 Wyoming. Biennial Report( 1896-1 898), 44. Another hin- 
drance in retaining teachers was the custom of dismissing female 
teachers upon marriage. This undoubtedly cost Wyoming the ser- 
vices of many of the most experienced teachers, or prevented 
women from gaining the experience which would have made them 
excellent teachers. 

'0 Letter from Margaret Hoglund Coe, WRTA Collection, Box 






« . a 

Moody School, Wheatland Flats, Platte County. 

pay as much as a city school for the demanding work, 
or to keep up an adequate building. "How can it be 
expected that our county schools will keep improving 
when the brainiest and most competent teachers are 
lured to the town schools, or other lines of employ- 
ment, by salaries commensurate with the work per- 
formed?" inquired Thomas Tynan, the State Superin- 
tendent in 1900. 1 ' The answer, all too often, was that 
they could not. The rural teachers were not necessarily 
destitute, but they could earn much more in a larger 
town school. In 1918, for example, the average rural or 
small-town teacher earned less than two-thirds as much 
as a teacher in a larger town. ^ 

Wyoming's small population could not meet the 
chronic need for teachers, but 
the state was fortunate that its 
neighbors did not suffer as 
much from this problem. 
Many new teachers were im- 
ported from other states, lured 
by abundant job openings and 
wages which were often 
somewhat higher than those at 
home. 1 ^ The Board of Ex- 
aminers claimed in 1902 that 
more than ninety percent of Wyoming teachers were 
"foreigners. They were not at all happy about the situ- 
ation, either, believing that other states had lower cer- 
tification standards and that it was therefore too easy 
for an out-of-state teacher to be accepted in a Wyo- 
ming school. 14 

A decade later, while Wyoming natives were mak- 
ing inroads into the ranks of the teaching profession, 
Meda Sinsel of Johnson County also complained, "A 
large number of [out-of-state teachers] were seeking 
adventure and were not very satisfactory and to say the 
least were not very loyal to our State institutions."! 5 

But Wyoming depended on such teachers. Maude 
Sims of Crook County noted that without the teachers 
coming in from eastern states, she could not have kept 
half of the schools in the county open for full terms, 
"even by working our home teachers twelve months of 
the year." 16 Nor was that last statement just hyper- 
bole. Several teachers taught at more than one school, 
taking advantage of the fact that some were open in the 
winter and others during the summer. Both parties were 
served: the teacher gained extra income and the school 
boards could spread their resources farther. 1 7 

Such double duty was not enough to solve the prob- 
lems, however, and Wyoming continued to be an out- 
let for surplus teachers from the Midwest states. Two 
such teachers were Mary and Mable Nauman, a pair of 

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Autumn 1996 
sisters who discovered in 1924 that Indiana had more 
teachers than available positions. Hearing that Wyo- 
ming needed teachers, they wrote to the superinten- 
dent in Douglas. His reply, as Mary recalled, was 
"Come on out. There are vacancies." ^ 

Packing into Mable's Model T, the intrepid Hoo- 
sier teenagers headed west on the Lincoln Highway. 
The pavement gave out in Iowa, but the car kept going 
until reaching Wyoming after five days. There "the two 
Indiana girls found themselves to be somewhat celeb- 
rities, for it was not a usual thing in those days for 
young people to trek all over the country as they do 
now," May recalled. Whatever adventure they may have 
expected, the arid plains came as a terrible shock. Mary 

remembered, "We were disap- 
pointed in the hot dry land we 
found here, but we had no 
money for a return journey had 
we wished to do so. " Nor were 
there any jobs to return to, so 
both became teachers in the 
Douglas area. Mary disliked 
Wyoming enough that she 
soon returned to Indiana, but 
only for a year. The state even- 
tually captured the pair: the two sisters had met two 
brothers, with predictable results. iy 

While the incidents of adventure-seeking may have 
been exaggerated, the county superintendents did have 
to accept a number of applicants who were more des- 
perate for jobs than they were committed to teaching. 
A young woman in the early years of the century had 
relatively few socially-approved options if she wished 
to support herself. She might not like teaching, or even 
like children, yet would find herself in the classroom 
because she believed that "it was the only respectable 
job for a young woman to hold." 20 May Nordquist, 

1 1 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1899-1900), 7. 

12 Wyoming. Wyoming Educational Directory (1917-1918). 
A "city" was defined as a community of one thousand or more 
inhabitants. Teachers in these schools earned an average of 
$810.56 that year, while teachers in smaller communities earned 
an average of $517.67. Average city salaries were probably also 
higher because those teachers had more years of experience than 
many of the rural teachers. 

13 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1896), 64. 

14 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1901-1902), 70. 

15 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1913-1914), 40. 

16 Wyoming. Biennial Report ( 1908), 42. ' 7 Wyoming. Bien- 
nial Report (1902), 74; letter from Willard R. Beck, WRTA Col- 
lection, Box #1. 

!° Letters from Mary Nauman, Mable Nauman, WRTA Col- 
lection, Box #1. 
■9 Ibid. 
20 Letter from Wana Clay Olson, WRTA Collection, Box #1. 



Annals of. Wyoming 

despite her misgivings about being unqualified, frankly 
admitted, "I needed [the job]. The starting salary was 
one hundred dollars a month, a rather good salary for a 
teacher just starting out in 1924." 21 It might, perhaps, 
have been too good a salary to spend on a novice teacher 
had there been other candidates available. 

Although it may have seemed at times that anyone 
could get a job as a schoolteacher, Wyoming's Depart- 
ment of Education did try to allow only qualified people 
into the classroom. However, the definition of quali- 
fied was necessarily flexible, depending on circum- 
stances. In general, standards became stiffer over time, 
as more teachers became available (especially from 
within the state). Still, a poor quality teacher was pref- 
erable to no teacher at all. The 
situation became especially 
difficult, for example, during 
the First World War, when 
many of the male teachers left 
the profession. The schools 
made up the deficiency by is- 
suing emergency certificates, 
with the requirement that the 
holder complete five hours of correspondence work with 
the University of Wyoming before the certificate ex- 
pired in eight months."- 2 

Originally, the task of certifying a teacher fell upon 
the county superintendent. The territorial laws of 1888 
had established that the superintendent would issue one- 
year certifications, valid only in that county, to anyone 
who passed the superintendent's examination. This left 
the county official with a great deal of discretion, as 
there were no standard tests and each teacher had to be 
reexamined every year. If the teacher moved to another 
county, a new examination for a new certificate was 
required. 23 

The Department of Education created a more cen- 
tralized system in 1 899 with the formation of a State 
Board of Examiners, who drew up several sets of ex- 
aminations and distributed them to the various county 
superintendents. 24 They also established three grades 
of certificates: the lowest still required annual renewal, 
but a higher certificate was valid for three years and 
the highest was good for four years. The latter fostered 
a few complaints that few teachers found it worthwhile 
to obtain the four-year certificate, since there was so 
little difference between it and the one for three years. 
But the prospect of being certified for three years in- 
stead of one was very attractive and many teachers be- 
gan acquiring the higher certificates. 2 ^ At the same 
time, the state legislature authorized automatic four- 
year certificates to degree holders from the Normal 


M?4H$ eofafa >«>*( it(*99U A* 

School at the University of Wyoming, while graduates 
with five years of teaching experience would be ex- 
empted from examination thereafter. 2 ^ 

An interesting point about the certification process 
is that it did not really become more restrictive. The 
relative supply and demand for teachers would not al- 
low it. Instead of eliminating the lower certificates, the 
higher certificates were set up to reward teachers with 
more training and experience. Over time, retaining bet- 
ter qualified instructors allowed superintendents to re- 
ject those with lower credentials, but they could not 
eliminate the latter immediately. Many of these teach- 
ers were fresh from the eighth grade ranks, taking an 
examination immediately after earning their own di- 
plomas. In 1910, for example, 
Johnson County decided to 
economize by allowing some 
of the county children to take 
examinations for one-year cer- 
tificates at graduation. Those 
who passed were given their 
diploma and teaching certifi- 
cate at the same time. 2 ? 
These extra teachers were needed in order to weed 
out the less qualified instructors as the State 
Superintendent's office had begun enforcing the law 
making the District Treasurer responsible for any money 
paid out to a teacher without a certificate. 2 8 Enforcing 
this law undoubtedly spurred many counties to clean 
house. Before, a desperate county superintendent might 
have been lenient regarding an unqualified teacher, but 
now the tests were standardized and, after 1907, graded 
by the Board of Examiners rather than the county offi- 
cial, as had previously been the case. 29 

21 Letter from Mary Nordquist Ballenger, WRTA Collection, 
Box # 1 . 

22 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1920), 28. The figures for 1918 
and 1919 do not appear in the Superintendent's reports, so it is 
difficult to determine exactly how acute the shortage became. 
The 1920 report does show that while only 1 1% of teachers were 
male, they made up 34% of high school teachers and only 8% of 
elementary teachers. It seems probable that the high schools were 
hurt most directly, while rural schools saw an intensification of 
the existing trend, with better teachers moving up to fill the va- 
cancies in the high schools and poorly-trained teenagers with 
emergency certificates replacing them in the rural schools. 

23 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1896-1898), 8,9,34,53. 

24 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1900), 24. 

25 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1902), 70,75. 

26 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1902), 69. 

27 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1910), 37. 

28 Ibid. 

29 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1908), 10. 

Autumn 1996 

Cambria school on Antelope Hill, Weston County, was typical of what might have been 

called an "urban " school in Wyoming but it, too, had trouble keeping teachers. 

The struggle to keep teachers qualified did not end who skipped the sessions. 33 Her view eventually pre- 

with certification. Every year, and sometimes twice a vailed, as a 1913 law made attendance at the institute 

year, each county would hold a "teachers institute," a mandatory and authorized the State Superintendent to 

four- or five-day gathering where teachers could share revoke the certificate of any teacher who did not have a 

experiences and listen to lectures on their craft. Funded "sufficient and reasonable excuse for being absent from 

by the county, the institutes were something of a cross the institute. "34 

between summer revival camp and a day in school: In the effort to create effective rural schools, how- 
after opening exercises and a song or two, the lectures ever, certifying teachers was only one part of the an- 
would begin, with such titles as "Laws of Learning, " swer. Recognizing that a good school would require 
"The Educative Value of Work," "Good Roads," or more effort from the community as well as from the 
"The Place and Value of English Grammar." The lee- teacher, the Department of Education in 1919 began a 
tures were usually delivered by local teachers, with program of recognizing certain rural schools as "stan- 
perhaps a faculty member from the University there as dard schools." The standards were those of the city 
a featured attraction. 30 Since the teachers were conve- schools, which had larger, cleaner facilities and better- 
niently gathered in one place, the superintendent would paid teachers. Any school wishing this distinction could 
hold examinations and give out certificates at the end call for an inspection, which often turned into "a gala 
of the affair.31 occasion" for the community. The school would be 

The institutes were a favorite among the county awarded points in each of the following categories: 
superintendents and, according to their reports, among 

the teachers as well. Gertrude Huntington of Carbon 
County declared that "[t]eachers who have been de- 
prived of normal training find the plan especially valu- 
able," adding that "notebooks are freely used."32 Hun- 
tington liked the program so well, in fact, that she had 
previously threatened to refuse rehire to any teacher 

3 ^ Laramie County Teachers Institute Programs from 1913, 
1914, and 1919. Wyoming State Archives, Division of Cultural 
Resources, State Department of Commerce, Cheyenne. 

31 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1902), 80. 

32 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1900), 30-31. 

33 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1898), 46. 
3 ^ Wyoming. Biennial Report (1914), 6. 

Annals of Wy 





Accommodations for Teachers 
The School Building 

Equipment and Supplies 

a. Community Activities 

b. Organization 

c. The Teacher 

d. Educational Progress 

Part I was forty percent of the grade; part II, sixty 
percent. The building was required to have accessible 
drinking water, at least twenty square feet of floor space 
per child, a flagpole, a blackboard, maps, a dictionary, 
and an approved set of textbooks, among many other 
things. The teacher had to possess the highest certifi- 
cate available to a rural teacher, a ''professional spirit," 
and the county superintendent's recommendation as a 
"superior teacher."^ 

Naturally, raising a rural school to these require- 
ments was expensive and the district was under no for- 
mal compulsion to try to meet such guidelines. But 
state officials could put informal pressure upon con- 

scientious parents and community leaders. State Su- 
perintendent Katherine Morton described their options 
by stating, "The local boards could, if they so desired, 
employ teachers with low qualifications, hold pitifully 
short terms of school, and refuse to recommend a tax 
levy sufficient to raise funds to maintain efficient 
schools. "36 The local citizens might remain content 
with substandard schools, but they would not be al- 
lowed to do so with an easy conscience. 

A push for a standard school would often have to 
come from the teacher's initiative. One teacher in 
Laramie County insisted that "standardization is wholly 
'up to the teacher'. . . Patrons, as a rule, do not know 
the meaning of 'standard school,' and should be en- 
lightened by the State and County officials through the 
teacher and school board."37 

The paternalistic nature of standardization may have 
seemed rather heavy-handed to parents and local school 
boards, as the state did not hesitate to play on any anxi- 
eties people may have had of being backward yokels. 
One state publication stated bluntly: 

35 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1920), 16-23. 

36 Ibid., 16. 

37 Dorris L. Sander, "A Study of Wyoming Rural Schools with 
General Areas for Evaluation." M. A. Thesis, Department of El- 
ementary Education, University of Wyoming, (1952), 181. 
























Meeteetse School Park County 

The country child, getting his education in a poorly 
built, inadequately equipped school, with an insufficiently 
educated and often times untrained teacher, will enter life's 
competition seriously handicapped as against the child who 
attended and profited by attendance in a standard, consoli- 
dated, or graded city school... The community with a Stan- 
dard School is a better community to live in; children, go- 
ing from its homes to schools in other places or to high 
school, secure better recognition from the start; other schools 
accept its work without question. 38 

Under this sort of prodding, many communities 
did undertake the standardization of their schools. In 
the first year, twenty schools received the distinction 
(nine in Park County alone), while by 1928 a third of 
rural schools had become standard. For their expense 
and efforts, they received a brown and yellow shield 
with the words STANDARD SCHOOL emblazoned 
in three inch letters. The sign it- 
self may not have been a lot, but 
people placed it on their schools 
with pride, displaying their com- 
mitment to their children's edu- 
cation. 3 9 

The Department of Educa- 
tion, as state agencies will, con- 
centrated on certificates and 
standards; meanwhile, it fell to the teacher in the class- 
room to deliver something called "education." In 
Wyoming's early days, this often meant fitting a per- 
son to be productive and orderly in society. The state 
wanted honest, hardworking citizens, and it was the 
schools' job to produce them. Long before statehood 
arrived, the principal of the Laramie school wrote: 

The demand of the times is a good practical sys- 
tem of public schools. There is nothing in this world 
of more importance than the proper education of their 
children. The intelligent and disciplined person is 
always a strong and productive element in the com- 
munity while the ignorant and undisciplined is a dan- 
gerous and unproductive consumer. The best school 
of morality, too, is the properly disciplined public 
school wherein punctuality and regularity are en- 
forced and the pupil is constantly taught to suppress 
mere self will and inclination. Self-control is the basis 
of all moral virtues and industrious study habits are 
the highest qualities that can be found in children. 4 ^ 

Few, if any, later teachers would ever have read 
Fitch's article, but their own recollections reveal that 
they, too, saw education in terms of social responsibil- 
ity. May Nordquist boasted "of the hundreds of young- 
sters who have passed through my classrooms, a very, 


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Autumn 1996 
very small few did not prove a credit to their commu- 
nity." 41 The best students were those who became 
"good, useful people" or more commonly, "good citi- 
zens." Disruptive students were the supreme test of a 
teacher's ability and a major source of anxiety. "He 
had had so much trouble in town the year before that 
he had been expelled," a teacher wrote of one boy. "My 
heart fell when I realized what I was up against. But I 
had no trouble at all. He made a good citizen later." 4 - 
Usefulness was valued just as much as discipline 
and order were. Arthur Glasgow taught in Powell in 
1909 and 1910 and reported, "In high school, great 
stress was put on the earning power of college gradu- 
ates. Since, some educators have pointed out that en- 
lightenment enables one to be of more service as well 

as to understand and appreciate life to a greater de- 


In its starkest terms, pro- 
ducing a good citizen often 
meant saving a child from a life 
of crime. At the Fifth Territo- 
rial Teacher's Institute, one 
teacher (perhaps feeling under- 
paid) had asked, "Which is best, 
an ounce of prevention or a 
pound of cure in the matter of 
paying teachers to prevent crime or paying attorneys to 
prosecute criminals, etc.?" 44 The Johnson County In- 
stitute of 1910 featured a lecture titled "The Boy Who 
Goes Wrong" 4 ^ Similarly, Arthur Glasgow asked, 
"Many educators declare pursuit of poetry a wanton 
waste of time, but is it? Extensive research shows that 
some acquaintance with poetry definitely tends to in- 
hibit criminal tendencies. A school is sometimes 

38 Wyoming Department of Education. "Standardization of 
Rural Schools," Bulletin No. 2, Series B (1921), 3-5, quoted in 
Sander, "A Study of Wyoming Rural Schools," 10. The first "stan- 
dard school" in Wyoming was at Royal Valley, Niobrara County. 

39 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1920), 16; Sander, "Study of 
Wyoming Rural Schools," 74. 

40 Fitch, R.E., Laramie Daily Sentinel, April 18, 1873, quoted 
in State Superintendent of Public Instruction Release No. 5, Feb- 
ruary 19, 1940, WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

41 Letter from May Nordquist Ballenger, WRTA Collection. 

42 Letter from Mrs. Claude C. Miller, WRTA Collection, Box 

4 3 Letter from Arthur Glasgow, WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

44 Wyoming Department of Education, Superintendent of Pub- 
lic Instruction Release No. 13, April 15, 1940, WRTA Collec- 
tion, Box #1. 

45 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1909-1910), 38. It is interest- 
ing to speculate what a lecture on "The Girl Who Goes Wrong" 
might have dealt with. In any event, the teachers' reminiscences 
seem to conceive and describe the disorderly student only as male; 
troublesome girls receive virtually no mention. 

Annals of Wyoming 

thought of as turning out citizens, an asset to society as 
well as to themselves. " 4 ^ Presumably, if poetry could 
not prove its usefulness by preventing antisocial be- 
havior, than it might indeed be "a wanton waste of 
time.** In this regard, the definitive claim to victory 
came from May Shoemaker, who declared with satis- 
faction. "If any [of my students] were ever punished 
for committing a crime, it has never yet reached my 



In the classroom, discipline was the watchword. In 
manv ways, it could hardly have been otherwise, espe- 
cially in the one-room school where children at differ- 
ent levels were studying different lessons at the same 
time. Teaching children to read was the first task, for 
once they could understand simple written instructions, 
they could be kept occupied with little supervision, free- 
ing the teacher to help the older and more advanced 
students. The overworked teacher, however dedicated, 
had little time to spare for less promising students and 
"could do little but provide 'busy work' for these un- 
fortunates," wrote one teacher sadly. "The big 'push' 
was to provide an academic background for a college- 
oriented student. All the others were to be homemak- 
ers and ditchdiggers." 49 

While the Superintendent of Public Instruction wor- 
ried about certification, teachers and parents often con- 
sidered the ability to keep discipline to be one of the 
more important distinctions between a competent and 
incompetent instructor. It was certainly a factor in the 
high turnover rate, as some teachers recalled that those 
who quit often did so in frustration at being unable to 
control their students. 5 ^ Ferris Bruner recalled a pair 
of rowdy fellow students at the Mill School in Con- 
verse County: "Those kids had run off three teachers. 
Finally the school board was faced with one of two 
choices — either to close the school or [to] find a teacher 
who could maintain discipline." The solution appeared 
in the form of a no-nonsense teacher named Mag Bolln. 
"About the first thing she did was grab each of those 
kids by the collar and hoist them out the door on their 
ear!" After that, there was no more trouble. 5 ' 

Other teachers used means only slightly less subtle. 
Constance Weis introduced her students in the Sheet 
Flats school to "The Board of Education," a device she 
described as "decorative for the wall [and] excellent 
for any student who failed to do his work properly and 
on time." Work was done.''- 

With children paying attention and diligently do- 
ing their exercises, the teacher could then concentrate 
on instruction. The coursework was often limited by 
the available textbooks. After 1 899 the books were free 
to the students, thanks to an act of legislation that teach- 


ers had been requesting for years. This act met with 
almost universal approval. Now children would no 
longer have to forego school for lack of book money. 5 ^ 

Uniformity of coursework was slower in arriving, 
however. County superintendents were frustrated by 
the wasted time and money which resulted when those 
responsible for purchasing books were poorly informed 
on the available literature. Out-of-state teachers often 
came into Wyoming with favorite books already in 
mind and immediately pressed the district to buy them. 
This might not have been so bad if the teachers had 
remained in one place for several years. As it was, many 
schools could maintain no continuity from year to year, 
with each new teacher initiating a new program with 
favorite books (if the school board could be talked into 
buying them), regardless of what the children had stud- 
ied the term before. 54 The result must have been fre- 
quent confusion, even though teachers recalled that only 
the more advanced students dealt with a curriculum of 
more than reading, phonics, arithmetic, spelling, and 
health. 55 

Many teachers limited their coursework to a lower 
grade and encouraged older students to enter a town 
school or take preparatory programs at the University 
in order to advance their education. Under the prevail- 
ing circumstances, that was probably for the best. 5 ^ 

In 1912 Myra Tolman Anderson found her first 
teaching job at the Thayne school, where "the children 
became so unruly that [the previous teacher] quit be- 
fore the term was over." She soon found out why, ad- 
mitting that "the fifth grade gave me quite a bit of 
trouble that year. Two or three of them wrote obscene 
words in indelible pencil on several of the books. I was 
horrified and didn't know what to do but it was finally 
resolved when one of the School Board members came 
and talked to the boys." The term was a success there- 
after and the grateful board members offered to raise 
her salary from $60 to $75 per month, mentioning that 

4 ° Letter from Arthur Glasgow, WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

47 Letter from May D. Shoemaker, WRTA Collection, Box HI. 

4° Letter from Esther N. Hanseen, WRTA Collection, Box#l. 

49 Letter from Clyde W. Kurtz, WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

50 Letter from Ethel Mae Boyle, WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

5' "Early Day Schools Recalled," The Douglas Budget. 1 May 
1975. WRTA Collection, Box #1. 

5 ~ Letter from Constance Weis, WRTA Collection, Box #2." 
Wyoming. Biennial Report (1894), 1 1-12; Biennial Report (1902), 

54 Wyoming. Biennial Report (1908), 35-36; Biennial Report 
( 1 9 1 0), 3 1 ; Biennial Report ( 1 9 1 2), 6. 

55 Letter from Mary Nordquist Ballenger, WRTA Collection. 

56 Biennial Report ( 1 906), 53. 

they had not expected her to last even one month. Un- 
fortunately for Thayne, they were unable to keep this 
teacher past her first term, either. Myra Tolman had a 
better offer from Afton, where for the same $75 per 
month, she would only have to teach one grade. $' 

Her story aptly illustrates the most persistent chal- 
lenges among Wyoming's rural schools. The school 
board at Thayne had held this unknown nineteen-year- 
old in so little regard that they expected she would quit 
within a month — yet they had hired her anyway. No 
one else was available. One can only describe such hir- 
ing practices as desperate, a desperation brought on by 
the frustrating turnover among rural teachers. For the 
smallest schools, it struck from both sides. If the teacher 
was incompetent and unable to maintain order, she 
would quit, sometimes suddenly. If she proved equal 
to the challenge, she would probably move on to a bet- 
ter job, as Tolman did. The problem would persist as 
long as underpopulated schools were scattered through- 
out the underpopulated rural districts. 

The State Superintendent's report of 1920 described 
a shortage of two hundred teachers, only five for every 
six needed. Not surprisingly. "Especially was the short- 
age acute in the rural districts. "- s ^ 

That was in 1 920. But it could have been 1 9 1 2. Or 
1906. Or 1894. Wyoming needed, and wanted, good 
teachers for the rural schools, but they were too often 
unavailable. Keeping a teacher for more than a year 
was almost an impossible dream for many rural schools, 
which then had to accept whomever they could get. 

By almost any measure, competent teachers were 
hard to find. The Department of Education focused on 
formal credentials and training, using the certification 
system to control access to the classroom. The fact that 
teachers with the desired qualifications were in such 
short supply, however, severely limited the standards 
which could be imposed. Although such measures as 
financial penalties for hiring uncertified teachers seem 
rigid enough, it was more common for the Department 
to use rewards rather than punishments to encourage 
teachers to improve their credentials. Many of the 
changes in regulations did not restrict certification, but 
instead offered teachers relief from frequent recertifi- 
cation if they met higher standards, such as university 
training. Superintendents could not always afford to 
reject the poorest teachers until they had found a way 
to make extended training more attractive and so cre- 
ate a pool of more qualified instructors. 

For a few decades in the 1 920s and 1 930s, the stan- 
dardization program helped to raise the quality of the 
small schools, but the program did not address the root 
of the problem: the lack of resources with which a small 

Autumn 1996 
community could provide for its school, and the high 
ratio of schools to potential teachers. Until more con- 
solidation could take place, the "rural school problem" 
would continue and small communities would scramble 
to provide instructors for their children. 

The problem persisted because of the special de- 
mands which rural schools placed on a teacher. Poor 
facilities, low pay. rowdy students, and ungraded 
schools were a great discouragement to many new (and 
they were so often new) teachers. Sometimes they 
would happen upon a good teacher w ho would make a 
career in education. But even w hen these appeared, rural 
schools were slow to benefit. Higher pay and more 
comfortable schools, as well as the privilege of teach- 
ing a single grade, made urban schools more desirable 
posts. The unavoidable "trickle up" effect left the rural 
schools with a rotating corps of inexperienced teach- 
ers; the occasional gem would stay in teaching, but 
rarely at the rural school. 

Those who did would remember it forever. One 
was May Nordquist, once an eighteen-year-old girl 
stalking the streets of Cody in search of a job she 
doubted she was qualified for. "It is an experience, 
though perhaps not as drastic, that I would wish on 
new teachers," she wrote after her retirement. "It would 
surely test their [mettle] and dedication." But such 
wishes did not stop her from supporting a movement 
toward more consolidation.^ However constructive 
the experience might be for the most dedicated teach- 
ers, it also convinced the less dedicated to seek some 
other career. This would have been all to the good, had 
Wyoming been able to concentrate only on teacher 
quality. But the reality was that the state also needed a 
large quantity of teachers in proportion to its students. 
As long as this disproportion continued. Wyoming 
would be faced with its "rural school problem." 

" Letter from Myra Tolman Anderson. WRTA Collection, 

5% Wyoming. Biennial Report (1920): 8.5^ letter from \la\ 
Nordquist Ballanger. WRTA Collection. Box #1. 

Scott Hanley, a native of Indiana, is a graduate 
of Purdue University. He earned the M. A. de- 
gree in history from the University of Wyoming 
in 1991. Currently, he is a doctoral student in 
history at the University of Oregon, Eugene, 
specializing in environmental history. His par- 
ticular research interest is in the history of na- 
tional parks, particularly Yellowstone where he 
worked several summers as a park employee. 


Sam Berry, 

Hired Gun 

By Ester Johansson Hurray 

A beautiful mountain meadow four miles north of Pahaska Teepee in the North Absaroka 
Wilderness area of northwest Wyoming bears the name "Sam Berry Meadow," a peaceful 
memorial to an old outlaw.Who was Sam Berry? What does his story say about the larger- 
than-life figures who once roamed the Cody Country? 

■i"" > * ** % 

Sam Berry on his horse "Romeo" 





Sam Berry was a guide, a hunter, who spent more 
than five years in the Wyoming Territorial Prison 
in Laramie for murder. He claimed he commit- 
ted others. 

Running scared sometimes, boastful always, rarely 
remorseful, Sam Berry lived a colorful life as viewed by 
western romantics. From his comments to friends, he 
had regrets. From his actions, his conscience tormented 
him and he sought escape in alcohol. His bravery and 
reliability gained him friends and he did not enjoy being 
alone. He preferred having a partner. He was not a com- 
plex psychopathic killer. He killed for money. 

During his Cody years, Berry's notorious past made 
him a novelty for the dudes. He held his own conversa- 
tionally with his peers and had many friends. 

Berry's Wyoming Territorial prison record gives a 
few hints of his early life. In it, he listed he attended a 
common school which indicates for the early 1850s a 
fairly good education. A letter he wrote on October 8, 
1894, requesting a pardon, is preserved in his prison 
record. The letter is legibly written and well composed, 
although somewhat flamboyant. 1 

According to the 1910 census, he said he was 63, 
born in Kentucky and both parents were born in Ken- 
tucky. 2 He had dark hair and gray eyes, his height was 5 
feet, 7 inches and, at the time he was sent to prison, he 
weighed 145 pounds. His prison photograph shows a 
good-looking man, beginning to bald, dark mustache, 
and wearing a dark suit. 3 

He claimed he had been with the Quantrill Raiders, 
the notorious gang of border raiders in the latter part of 
the Civil War. It is possible that he joined in Kentucky 
during Quantrill's last days. William Clarke Quantrill 
led a gang operating in Missouri before the Civil War. 
His biographer, Albert Castel, described him as funda- 
mentally depraved and a treacherous double crossing, 
paranoid thief. 4 Quantrill gathered a group of outlaws 
and took advantage of the political divisions in Civil 
War-era Missouri. In the state where half of the popu- 
lace was for slavery and secession and the other half 
favored the Union, his gang conducted lawless guer- 
rilla warfare for two years. 5 

Later, Quantrill began raiding eastward through 
Missouri into Kentucky, to Spencer County, south of 
Louisville, where he "picked up some Kentucky youths." 6 
Berry would have been eighteen when Quantrill reached 
Spencer county. Years later, Sam Berry told Shoshone 
Forest ranger Harry Thurston that he was with Quantrill's 
guerrillas during the Civil War. He described riding into 
towns, hacking citizens right and left with sabers, kill- 
ing citizens, sacking and burning towns. He told Thurston 
he still could recall the victims' agonized expressions. 7 

Autumn 1996 
Quantrill was killed near Louisville, Kentucky, and 
sub-chiefs Bill Anderson and George Todd briefly led 
the gang until they also were killed. Several gangs formed 
from the remnants of Quantrill's gang, including those 
led by Jim and Cole Younger and their cousins Frank 
and Jesse James. Jesse "invented" bank robbery and 
"perfected" train robbery, according to one historian. 8 
Years later, Berry admitted he took part in bank and train 
robberies, but there is no record of which gang he joined 
or where these acts of lawlessness might have taken place. 
On some records, Berry listed his age as six years younger 
than on other records. The younger age would have made 
him barely fourteen when the Raiders disbanded. There 
are other discrepancies. In some records, he stated that 
he had been born in California. In others, he listed his 
birthplace as Kentucky. 

Berry claimed he went to Fremont County, Wyo- 
ming, sometime in the early 1870s. 9 However, just as in 
the case of his riding with Quantrill's raiders, there are 
several inconsistencies in his story. At one point, he told 
Thurston he had been with the U. S. Cavalry "following 
a party of hostile Indians 1877- 1 878." 10 This could have 
been possible because Berry may have been a civilian 
employee with the Army. He is not listed as a soldier. 

1 "Samuel Berry," file #5, Wyoming Territorial Prison Records, 
Wyoming State Archives. (See illustration, following page) 

2 He apparently was not enumerated in Park County in 1920 by 
the U. S. census taker nor was he listed in the 1880 Wyoming 

3 Wyoming Territorial Prison Records, Wyoming State Archives. 

4 Quantrill was born in Ohio July 31, 1837, and died in 1865. 
Albert Castel, William Clarke Quantrill. (New York: Frederick Fell, 
Inc., 1962), 157. 

5 Castel called Quantrill's Massacre of Lawrence, Kansas, Au- 
gust 21, 1863, "one of the most terrible events in United States 

6 Castel. 

7 Thurston was the Shoshone Forest ranger from 1907 to 1911. 
For the comments on Berry, see Harry Thurston papers, Park County 
Archives, Cody. Despite his statements, Sam Berry's name is not 
among those of gang members. However, one raider, who acted as 
"orderly sergeant in Quantrill's gang, is listed as Ike Berry. See 

8 Paul I. Wellman, A Dynasty of Western Outlaws. (Lincoln: Uni- 
versity of Nebraska Press, 1961), 69. 

In trying to pick up Sam's whereabouts after the Civil War, 
there is his statement on his prison record that he had been in Fre- 
mont County for twenty years. He gave his occupation as cowboy 
or cowman. That date would have brought him to the county in the 
early 1870's. 

10 "Late in October 1877 the Oglala and Brule left their agencies 
in Nebraska for the Missouri (river). Escorting them on their long 
march were several companies of cavalry from Fort Robinson and 
Camp Sheridan." Remi Nadeau, Fort Laramie and the Sioux Indi- 
ans. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1967), 291. 


Annals of Wyoming 

Berry next turned up in Wyoming in the late 1880s 
when he became involved in a shooting affray with a 
man who apparently had some involvement in the 
Sweetwater lynchings of James Averill and Ella Watson. 
Averill and Watson (also known as "Cattle Kate") died 
on the Sweetwater not far from Independence Rock." 
Before their deaths, Averill and Watson homesteaded and 
ran a few cattle in the middle of land desired by John 
Bothvvell. a neighboring big cattle operator on the 
Sweetwater. On July 20, 1 889, six men abducted Ella 
Watson and James Averill and lynched them. Some 
people believed Henderson was a participant, but there 
is no evidence linking him to the incident. 12 In October. 
1889. the case against the cattlemen was dismissed. 13 

A short while after the Sweetwater lynchings, John 
Clay, manager of the Quarter Circle 7 1 Ranch owned by 
the Wyoming Cattle Ranch Company, hired John Pow- 
ers (also known as George Henderson) to be foreman of 
the ranch, located near Split Rock on the Sweetwater 
River. Henderson also was hired as a stock detective, 
probably because he had been a Pinkerton detective in 
Pennsylvania during coal miners' disputes. u 

Almost a year later, in July, 1 890, Henderson started 
having disagreements with another 7 1 Ranch employee, 
John Tregoning (also known as Jack Smith). Henderson 
accused Tregoning of sleeping on the job. Tregoning 
worked as a night hawk for the 7 1 Ranch and Henderson 
claimed that instead of watching the herd, he built a camp 
fire and went to sleep beside it "while the herd of cattle 
roamed at will." 15 Later, the two argued over unpaid 
wages. Finally, Henderson fired the cowboy for failing 
to return two borrowed horses which he had borrowed 
in order to ride to Buffalo to do some "carousing." 

Some time later. Henderson helped drive 2000 head 
of 7 1 cattle to Johnson County. There, he encountered 
Tregoning who confronted him over the $9 he claimed 
he was owed for back pay. Henderson gave him the 
money, but emphasized to Tregoning that he was now 
discharged, even though he still had the two 71 horses. 
At that time, Tregoning returned to the Sweetwater to 
the neighboring Sheehan ranch, five miles from the 71. 

On October 8, 1890, Henderson and Pete Steckles, 
who worked for the 7 1 . rode over to retrieve the horses 
by force. Henderson, armed with his six-shooter, backed 
up by unarmed Steckles, walked forward to accost 
Tregoning. leading his horse with his right hand, his head 
lowered as he faced the fierce, cold wind. Tregoning 
suddenly stepped forward with his Winchester rifle. He 
was backed up by Sam Berry, also armed with a Win- 
chester. Both Tregoning and Henderson demanded the 
other drop his gun. Neither did and "Tregoning looked 
back over his shoulder at Berry and then leveled his rifle 


at Henderson and pulled the trigger, and Henderson fell 
to the ground, exclaiming, 'My God, I am shot,' and he 
died almost immediately. 16 

Tregoning and Berry were arrested and taken to 
Lander for trial. 17 At the end of the trial, the jury deliber- 
ated for 27 hours and on August 16, 1 89 1 , came back 
with verdicts of "murder in the second degree for 
Tregoning and Manslaughter for Berry." 1 * The judge sen- 
tenced Tregoning to life and Berry to 20 years hard la- 
bor. 19 

" For a recent interpretation of the hangings, see George 
Hufsmith, The Wyoming Lynching of Cattle Kate, 1889. (Glendo: 
High Plains Press, 1993). 

12 The six men were: ring leader John Bothvvell. M. Ernest 
McLean, Captain Robert M. Galbraith, John Henry Durbin, Robert 
Conner, Tom Sun, and a sixth un-named man — George Henderson 
according to Mari Sandoz. But according to Hufsmith, "However, 
we can count him out as a direct participant in these events because 
he was in Cheyenne." 

Some believe the case was dismissed because three witnesses, 
Ralph Cole, John L. DeCory and Frank Buchanan, all disappeared. 
Cole was later found murdered. Sandoz believed Henderson got rid 
of all three witnesses; Hufsmith concurs. 

14 Clay in his book sticks up for Henderson. "He had seen a lot of 
life." Clay describes him as silent, shrewd, able, given to occa- 
sional drink and had no fear. "He would rather hunt a thief than 
eat." Henderson had "run down a famous criminal in South 
America." More recently he had hunted down rustlers in Idaho. 
John Clay, My Life on the Range. (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1962), 264. 

15 Alfred J. MokJer, History of Natrona Counn; Wyoming, 1882- 
1922. (New York: Argonaut Press, 1966), 273. 

Ih A. S. Mercer in The Banditti of the Plains, also came out strongly 
against the big cattlemen. On the other side. John Clay, who was 
George Henderson's employer, describes the Henderson murder 
from the big cattlemen's point of view in Mv Life on the Range. 
Another version of the affair has been researched by Jean Mathisen 
in "Another Killing on the Sweetwater." According to Mathisen, 
Henderson discharged both Smith (Tregoning) and Sam Berry. Each 
time Henderson meets up with Smith (Tregoning) he tells him to 
take off his revolver and each time he refuses, the last time in Buf- 
falo when disagreeing over the amount of the check. On October 
4. 1890, for some reason Smith and Berry appear at the 71 Ranch 
and Henderson tells them to return the 71 horses they are riding. 
They reply they would in a day or two, and there were more angry 
accusations and threats, then Smith and Berry rode off to the Sheehan 
ranch. Three days later the horses hadn't been returned, hence the 
fateful visit Henderson made to the Sheehan ranch. Jean A. 
Mathisen, "Another Killing on the Sweetwater." Old West (Spring 
1988), 42-45. 

17 According to Mathisen, "Smith and Berry headed for Lander 
and turned themselves in to Sheriff Sparhawk." She noted that "the 
two men were brought before Justice Russell." (By 1910 Sparhawk 
was a forest ranger for the Teton Forest Reserve). Mathieson states 
that testimony was given by Steckles, Doany Barr, Sheriff Sparhawk, 
and Gilbert Stevens. The two men were ordered to be held without 
bail until the Grand Jury convened the following July, some nine 
months later. 

Biographical and physi- 
cal informaton about 
Sam Berry on his prison 
card. On the reverse was 
his photograph. 

Autumn 1QQ6 


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Berry's role in the incident was described in conver- 
sations he had years later. In February. 1929. he told a 
former employer, Ed Farlow, that he had killed seven 
men in his life, four Mexicans and three white men, all 
for hire. In noting that he had '"taken part in holdups, 
bank and train robberies." he said that he had killed a 
man in Nevada for $500. : " Of his role in the 7 1 incident. 
Berry told Farlow: "John Tregoning and 1 both shot about 
the same time at Henderson. I got $100 for this but was 
to get $300. It cost me a lot of time in the pen, too." 21 

A prison doctor listed and described his numerous 
scars on the "Description of Convict No. 5" when Berry 
entered the penitentiary. "Scar on left leg 3 in. above 
knee cap, 2 inch long, 1 inch wide. Scar on front of right 
leg 6 inches above knee cap. Small scar on back at upper 
point of the hip caused by broken bone. Two small scars 
on back of hand. One small scar on left side of head 
three inches above ear. Has very bad stricture."" 

Three years after Berry entered the Laramie prison, 
a pardon petition circulated on his behalf. Governor 
Osborne received the application for a pardon on Au- 
gust 9, 1 894, but did not act on it. 23 A few months later, 
on October 8. 1894, Berry wrote a letter to Stephen I. 
Farwell of the State Board of Charities and Reform re- 
questing a pardon. "I would go to the Throne of God 
itself and swear that I had no hand in the killing of George 
B. Henderson and I think that I have stood enough pun- 
ishment for telling the truth on the Stand. I swear to you 
Uncle Stephe (sic) that I am innocent of any complicity 
whatever in the death of Mr. Henderson." 24 

A month after Berry's letter, John Tregoning escaped 
from prison. He was never recaptured. Finally, on De- 
cember 27, 1 896, almost two years after his letter. Berry 
received the news he had sought. Estelle Reel, Secretary 

of the State Board of Charities and Reform, discharged 
convict No. 5, S.H. Berry "by order of Governor 
Richards. His 20-year sentence earlier had been com- 

18 Mokler. 274. Mokler errs as both their prison records state 
murder in second degree. 

1 The Daily Boomerang, Laramie, for October 23, 1 890, earned 
the story. A copy of the item was supplied by Elnora L. Frye. In 
addition to the above facts it said Doany Ban, Jim Westfall, Pete 
Steckles, and Berry carried Henderson's body to the house. Jim 
was a brother of Ben Westfall, also employed by the 71 ranch, who 
killed Jack Cooper, notorious cattle thief, late in February 1889. 
The verdict in that case was justifiable homicide. While he was in 
the Laramie prison. Butch Cassidy was a fellow inmate. Cassidy, 
sentenced July 19, 1894. for two years for horse stealing, was par- 
doned and released January 19, 1896. Although they spent about 
half a year in prison at the same time, no recorded comments from 
Berry come to light. 

20 Edward J. Farlow. "Sam Berry. An Outlaw Who Killed for 
Money," Annals of Wyoming 11 (January 1939), 50-52. 

He also told Farlow, "the one that bothered me most was Bob 
McCoy." This would account for three white men for hire, bu( 
does not account for any during his association with the deadly 
Quantnll Raiders. 

"" Wyoming Territorial Prison Records. After 1 895. convicts were 
photographed with shaved heads. After 1900. they were pictured in 
black and white-striped uniforms. Others noted and recalled Berry's 
scars. Grace Seton-Thompson, (also known as Thompson-Seton), 
wrote an entire chapter about Berry in her book, A Woman Tender- 
foot, where she mentions his scars: "Both his face and hands were 
scarred from many bar room encounters." Grace Gallatin Seton- 
Thompson, A Woman Tenderfoot. ( New York: Doubleday. Page and 
Co., 1900), 117 

23 The petition was noted by Elnora Frye, authority on Wyoming 

24 The letter is filed with Berry's prison record. Wyoming Terri- 
torial Prison records, Wyoming State Archives. Why Berry used 
twice in the letter the familiar appellation "Uncle Stephe" is not 


Annals or Wyoming 

muted to six years by Governor Osborne and he was 

allowed 230 days for good conduct." 25 

After his release from the penitentiary. Berry trav- 
eled to northwest Wyoming, bypassing the Sweetwater 
and town of Lander. In the Absaroka Mountains, he set 
up a camp on a tributary of the upper Greybull river. 

A. A. Anderson, a wealthy New York artist, who 
first visited the west in the 1 880s. tells of meeting Berry 
around 1897. Anderson had started the Palette ranch, 
the last one up the Greybull river, and he rode down to 
Sam Berry's camp on Rose Creek, nine miles down- 
river. After talking with Berry, Anderson hired him as a 
horse wrangler. 2 " 

About this time Berry moved from the Upper 
Greybull to the North Fork of the Shoshone. There, in 
the fall of 1 90 1 . Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody 
hosted a special hunting trip for a few of his closest 
friends. They pitched their camp where Three Mile 
Campground is located, a few miles below the junction 
of Middle Fork and North Fork. Sam Berry was among 
the party. Forest Ranger Frank Hammitt. North Fork 
rancher Pat Kelly, and 12-year-old Art Braten, son of 
Walter Braten. visited the camp and joined in the Sun- 
day services conducted by Cody's good friend Rever- 
end Beecher and all raised their voices singing Christian 

On July 1. 1902. Anderson was appointed Special 
Forest Superintendent for northwest Wyoming. However, 
as early as 1 899. his conservation policies greatly an- 
gered the sheepmen who set fire to the grass and forest 
near his place in September of 1902. In July, 1903, un- 
known arsonists burned his home to the ground. It is 
possible that Anderson, well aware of his unpopularity, 
hired Berry for protection. Anderson could not be called 
cowardly. He had courageously faced off grizzlies and 
killed them almost at arm's length. 

The naturalist-artist Ernest Thompson Seton and wife 
Grace were friends of A. A. Anderson and he invited 
them on a fall hunting trip in 1898 on which Sam Berry 
worked as cook and horse wrangler. Grace wrote of Berry: 
"Nice man, that cook — he confessed with pride to many 
robberies and three murders! Only a month before en- 
gaging as a cook on this trip, he had been serving a life- 
term for murder: but had been released through some 
political pull..." 27 She commented on Berry's scars on 
his face and hands, presumably from many bar room 
encounters. She said he dated most of his remarks by 
the period he was "rusticating" in the pen. 

Grace Seton described an episode on the pack trip 
when Anderson and Ernest Seton went off hunting and 
Grace was left alone in camp with Sam. To bolster her 
courage she set up a target at fifty yards and started tar- 


get practicing with her .30 -.30 rifle. She wrote that Berry 
"took his six shooter and put a half dozen bullets in the 
bull's eye off hand." He also told her "a succession of 
blood curdling adventures over which the big, big, T 
had dominated." 28 True, Sam Berry bragged a lot, but 
proved a crack shot at any target. And after over five 
years in the pen, he must have relished his freedom and 
been in a jubilant mood. 

When the hunters returned at the end of the day, 
Grace chided her husband for leaving her with Berry. 
Ernest replied, "Do you think I don't know those wild 
mountaineers'? They are perfectly chivalrous, and I could 
feel a great deal safer in leaving my wife in care of that 
desperado than with one of your Eastern dudes." Quite 
true, the old timers would agree. Ernest himself got 
enough material to write an article, "Berry and the Mus- 

As early as 1 899, Sam Berry, the former outlaw and 
convict, was commissioned a deputy game warden. He 
seemed to have taken the position lightly, however. A. 
T Chamberlain, first supervisor of the Shoshone Forest 
Reserve, wrote to Senator Frank Mondell in 1899, and 
later, to Governor DeForest Richards in Cheyenne about 
certain abuses in the forest reserve. Chamberlain in his 
"whistle blower" letter wrote, "I know of the instance in 
Stinking Water where the game warden has been taking 
out several hunting parties this fall and he killed a large 
number of elk and deer and saves only the hides, horns, 
and teeth, leaving all the four quarters in the hills to rot." 
In another paragraph he wrote, "There was one artist., 
.you can trace his course through the mountains by the 
dead carcasses." Substitute the name Sam Berry for 
"game warden" and A. A. Anderson for "one artist." 28 

In the fall of 1902 Berry and Walter Braten estab- 
lished a camp where Pahaska Teepee later was built. 
Braten built a log cabin there and the place was called 
Berry and Braten Road ranch. The two staked out a 
mining claim on the Middle Fork of the North Fork, but 
some suspected it might have been a front for game 

During 1902 and 1903, Berry was busy taking out 
pack trips and hunting parties. Despite his new-found 
success, he continued to flirt with the law. In April, 1 902, 
he helped Lee Garrett escape from Deputy Sheriff James. 

Ibid. Obviously, Berry played no part in the "Johnson County 
invasion." He was in prison at the time. 

A. A. Anderson, Experiences and Impressions: The Autobiog- 
raphy of A. A. Anderson. (New York: Macmillan. 1933). 

27 Seton, 116. 

28 Letter, Chamberlain to Mondell, Mondell Papers, Wyoming 
State Archives. Division of Cultural Resources. Department of 

The case against him was discharged because the State 
could not produce any evidence against him. In August, 
1 902, Berry brought Carl Hammitt, brother of Frank, to 
town from the Carter ranch south of Cody, where 
Hammitt had been badly trampled by a horse. 

While out hunting with a small party on the North 
Fork in December, 1902, Berry shot at a mountain lion 
preying on the same herd of elk Berry was stalking. Berry 
wounded the lion, putting it into an ugly mood. Berry's 
gun jammed, the lion grabbed and "set his cruel jaws" 
on Sam's leg. After a grueling hand battle, rolling down 
a slope. Berry succeeded in choking the lion to death. 
The newspaper account of the incident concluded: "He 
favors his leg but has a mountain lion hide." 29 

In 1904 Berry and Braten started using the newly 
built road to take tourists from Cody to Yellowstone Park. 
They called their firm the Shoshone Camping Company. 
The next year. Berry took a homestead on Trail Creek, 
northwest of Cody. There, he built a comfortable log 
cabin and corrals for his horses. He also placed the fol- 
lowing advertisement in the Cody Enterprise: "Guide, 
Scout, and Hunter. S. H. Berry. Very best references 

A. C. Newton lived downstream from Berry's home- 
stead on Trail Creek. In 1904 George Gentner of Buf- 
falo, New York, met Cody's founding fathers, Bronson 
Rumsey and George Bleistein, as well as A. C. Newton, 
when they were visiting in New York. The three men 
persuaded Gentner to go west. For the next year, he 
worked for Newton's Trail Creek Ranch, then sent for 
his wife and daughters Jessie and Alice. They arrived in 
May of 1905. The family lived for the next year in a tent 
house at Trail Creek while Gentner continued to work 
for Newton. Sam Berry became a family friend. Years 
later, Jessie Gentner Blackstone recalled that the first 
horse she and Alice rode was Sam Berry's horse. Silver. 
"Sam was like a kindly uncle to us girls," she said. 1 ' 

About the same time, in the spring of 1905, Berry 
accepted a contract "to get three men" over in the 
Thermopolis/Owl Creek country. As he told about it a 
quarter century later, "My contract was for $1000 each 
and the evidence that I had done the job was to deliver 
an ear." 12 He did not say who put up the money, how- 
ever. 31 Prominent area stockmen were suspected. 14 In 
1 899. Jacob Price, long time superintendent of the Embar 
Cattle Company, had advertised a "$250 reward for cattle 
rustlers" in a Thermopolis paper, but no record exists to 
implicate him in hiring Berry six years later. 15 

The three targets of the contract were three suspected 
rustlers. Bob McCoy, Kize Eads and Frank James. 36 An 
unknown assailant shot McCoy from a small stone and 
dug-out shack, on July 3, 1905, late in the day. 37 The 

Autumn 1996 
next day, Deputy Sheriff Gryder and search party pulled 
McCoy's body from the river, the right ear gone, and a 
nose-bag filled with rocks tied around the neck. The body 
revealed McCoy had been shot twice, once through the 
right side and the second shot through the front, enter- 
ing the heart. The ear had been nailed to Kize Eads' door. 38 

Historian Dorothy Milek wrote years later: "An of- 
ficial verdict was never given as to the assassin. In fact, 
the whole subject was dropped as far as charges or any 
further news items in local papers. Only the verdict of 
gossip was left to name the man who pulled the trigger." 

In 1929, Berry told Ed Farlow about the incident. "I 
shot Bob about dark behind a little log house. He fell 
from his horse. I went up to him and he was still alive 
and recognized me. He gave me an awful look and it 
has bothered me ever since." He added that he shot 
McCoy again and cut off his right ear, buckled the rock- 
filled nose-bag about his neck and rolled him in the river. 
The ear provided proof he had fulfilled his contract. Af- 
ter he got the money, Berry said he went on a month 
long drunk in Cody, ending up broke and sober. 

Since his money had been squandered he probably 

Wyoming Stockgmwer and Fanner, December 30, 1902. 
30 Cody Enterprise. May 4. 1905. 
Author's interview of Jessie Gentner Blackstone, March, 1995. 
"Farlow, 51. 
According to the Wyoming State Journal. September 1 1, 1932, 
"The killing was a direct result of rustling activities in this section 
and that an association of stockmen had signed an agreement to 
stop all rustling." 

34 According to Otto Franc's diary, in 1 892, Otto Franc and Henry 
Lovell had tackled the rustler problem, but Otto Franc died in 1903. 
A list of the big ranchers does not necessarily implicate them in 
Berry's contract, but some of them were. J. D. Woodruff of the 
Embar sold out to Colonel and Captain Torrey. Ashworth and 
Johnson ran the Mill Iron. George A. Baxter of the LU on Grass 
Creek sold out in 1887. Dickinson and "Bear" McClellan with 1/4 
brand ranched near Ten Sleep. W. P. Noble, ranched near Ten Sleep, 
John Luman at Hyattville and Henry Lovell took an active role 
against rustlers but Lovell died in 1903. 

35 Big Horn River Pilot (Thermopolis), February 15. 1899. 

36 Some ranchers considered McCoy a "troublesome rustler." Dor- 
othy Milek, "Who Killed Bob McCoy?" True West (Nov.-Dec. 1966), 
25. Milek quotes old-timer Charles Hett, who came to Thermopolis 
in 1899, as saying, "Bob McCoy, to my knowledge, never stole 
cattle from a poor man." 

37 The site is directly across the Big Horn River, southeast of 

38 Milek. The Wyoming State Journal. September 1 1. 1932, states 
Kize Eads found a red flag tacked up (to his door?) warning him to 
leave the country within 24 hours, which he did. This is reminis- 
cent of the skull and crossbones warnings Bothwell left for Jim 
Averell and Ella Watson over on the Sweetwater in 1889, seven- 
teen years earlier. 


Annals of Wyoming 

went back to work guiding hunting and camping trips. 
Mention of him in the Cody area appears on June 1, 
1906, when he rode with a small funeral group taking 
the ashes of Dr. D. F. Powell, "White Beaver," up on 
Red Butte northwest of Cody for burial, a spot only a 
few miles west of Berry's homestead. 39 

In September 1906, Berry hired out as guide and 
outfitter for the elder Bronson C. Rumsey, Lyman Bass, 
and a Mr. Babcock, all from Buffalo, New York. The 
next year. Berry was guide and hunting mentor for young 
B. C. "'Bob" Rumsey. While hunting bear with Berry on 
Red Creek, a tributary of the upper North Fork, Rumsey 
sent Berry back to camp with his horse, saying he was 
going down the creek on foot and would meet Berry at 
the mouth of the creek at 6 o'clock. Rumsey shot a bear, 
skinned it out and started hiking out, very late. Berry 
came looking for him and explained to the young East- 
erner the importance of being at the appointed meeting 
place on time. It was a lesson Rumsey never forgot. 

Berry was injured in a fire, possibly the devastating 
Cody fire of 1907 in which a half block of at least seven 
business structures was consumed. Thurston recalled, 
"He always felt someone was out to get him. Once in 
Cody while helping to fight a fire he believed someone 
came after him with an ax. He fended off the blow with 
his left arm and was struck on the left wrist with the ax 
which cut the tendons. Afterwards he had to have some- 
one roll his cigarettes for him." 

Bob Rumsey recalled Berry's fire injury differently. 
Rumsey said, "one time during a building fire in early 
Cody, Sam Berry was helping fight the fire and cut his 
hand breaking a glass window." He explained that Berry's 
hand never healed properly. Bob's father, Bronson 
Rumsey, and George Bleistein took Berry to see a spe- 
cialist in their home town of Buffalo, New York. They 
paid for his stay at the Iroquois Hotel, but one night 
Berry went on a wild spree. Rumsey and Bleistein put 
him on the train and sent him back to Cody. 

Sometime after the McCoy murder, Berry built a 
hide-out on Trail Creek, three miles above the Trail Creek 
ranch, a distance away from his homestead cabin. It faced 
down-country toward Cody and was invisible from the 
road. 4 " 

From 1907 to 1911, Harry Thurston served as dis- 
trict ranger on the North Fork. He recalled that Berry 
poached game and outwitted the rangers. Thurston re- 
membered if anyone did anything to offend Berry, he 
had a way of saying, "You'd better be careful or I will 
dry-gulch you." Nonetheless, he seemed to have friends 
among local authorities. Harry E. Miller, district ranger 
from 1 9 1 2 to 1913, wrote of Berry, "He was a friend of 
mine, as ornery as he was." 4 ' 


For a time in 1912 he teamed up with tall, lanky 
Denny Start on the North Fork to trap, but returned to 
the Rumsey-Ferguson ranch as a winter caretaker. Little 
is known of his activities in those years, but the follow- 
ing summer, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rumsey and Betty, who 
were holidaying at Pahaska, walked over to Sam's camp 
to have supper with him one Sunday. 42 

On May 8, 1914, the United States officials charged 
Berry, Hardy Shull, and William Hawkins with killing 
elk inside Yellowstone National Park. Chief witness was 
Ranger R. W. Allen of the Shoshone National Forest, 
but when the case came to trial in November 1914, Sam 
Berry could not be apprehended. It seems Berry had shot 
the elk; Hardy and Hawkins had only transported the 
carcass. The case was dismissed. The next winter, Berry 
came out of hiding and worked as winter caretaker at the 
Trout Creek Ranch on the lower North Fork. 

By 1920 conditions were changing. A new breed of 
forest rangers, trained by the book, started enforcing the 

It is understandable Berry may have felt a special bond with 
White Beaver, both having been born in Kentucky in the same year, 
1847. Dr. Powell had a long and close contact with his friend. Colo- 
nel Cody, and as Cody wanted to be buried atop Cedar Mountain, 
White Beaver chose Red Butte, close enough so they, or their spir- 
its, could commune with each other across the canyon. The group 
had to ride because the sides of Red Butte are too steep for a wagon 
or buggy. Folk tales from this event referred to the group as a "crowd 
of revelers." In the ascent the container of ashes fell to the ground 
and the ashes spilled. This could have happened if they tied the 
container behind a saddle because the horses lunging up the steep 
incline could have dislodged it. The story goes that Sam Berry went 
back and collected the spilled ashes. See Eric Sorg, "Doctor, Law- 
yer, Indian Chief: The Life of Frank Powell, Medicine Man," Wyo- 
ming History Journal 67 (Summer 1995), 46-47. George T. Beck 
gave the eulogy at Powell's grave site and a long version of it ap- 
peared in the local newspaper. Reverend W. O. Harper, Cody Pres- 
byterian minister, served as "chaplain" for the service. W. O. Harper, 
"Early Days of the Presbyterian Church of Cody, Wyoming," 4, 
Park County Archives. 

40 By the 1950s it showed weathering but stood intact. It had 
three sides in an arroyo. The front, facing south, had a window, a 
door, and a flat roof. Neighbors said "Two-horse Johnson" lived 
there last before a cloudburst washed it out years ago, but it was 
photographed before it washed away. 

41 Thurston papers. Walt Hoffman said his folks came to Cody 
1908 and stayed at the Dr. Chamberlain homestead, up Trail Creek, 
while they looked the country over for a location to take up a home- 
stead. In driving past Berry's place Mrs. Hoffman became so fright- 
ened by the stories about the outlaw it may have influenced their 
decision to file on a homestead farther north, on Blaine Creek on 
the way to Sunlight. Interview of Walt Hoffman, March 1, 1995. 
Hulda Nelson Johansson first met Sam Berry in 1910 when they 
both worked at the Rumsey-Ferguson ranch on upper Sage Creek 
near Carter Mountain. He did not scare her. She said it was funny 
to watch him chew his food with his few remaining teeth. 

42 B. C. "Bob" Rumsey file. Park County Archives. The entry is 
for July 13, 1913. 

laws. Wyoming now had efficient game wardens. They 
cracked down on Berry and he got into trouble killing 
game out of season. He slipped away and headed for 
Fremont County. He had not worked there as a cowboy 
since 1890. He was now in his seventies and getting 
quite crippled. Ed Farlow said, "He worked for our sheep 
outfit for several years, pulling camp and doing what- 
ever he could. He had a crippled hand and his age was 
against him." 4, 

Farlow saw Berry in mid-February 1929, in a Lander 
hotel. Berry had come to town to see Dr. Paul Holtz. It 
was at this time he unburdened his soul with stories of 
his outlaw days, and said, "I am so near the end of my 
rope now, they [the law] won't bother me." 

A few days later he was taken to the county home 
where he died on March 10. 1929. His body was buried 
the next day in the Lander cemetery. Dr. Holtz wrote on 
his death certificate that he died from myocardial dec- 
ompensation and mitral insufficiency with nephritis. 
Holtz listed his occupation as sheepherder. Berry would 
have felt this demeaning — he would have preferred cow- 
boy, or hunter. 

The Sam Berry that Bob Rumsey talked about in 
his 1967 interview with Jack Richard bore little resem- 
blance to the feeble old man in Lander in 1929. Rumsey 
called him. "a rough character with a deep guttural voice. 
He coughed a lot, slept lightly, and always with a six 

Autumn 1996 
shooter under his pillow." 44 Harry Thurston wrote in his 
memoirs. "He always felt someone was out to get him." 
Thurston described him as well built and balding. He 
had a deep penetrating eye and deep voice." 4 " 

Were all of his stories true? Did he escape punish- 
ment for most of his illegal activities, including murder? 
No one will ever know for certain. The name of the 
mountain meadow in the Absarokas leaves evidence of 
Cody's outlaw who, like many others in the Old West. 
found friendly territory far from the crowds. What little 
else remains are the myths and stories about Sam Berry's 
colorful life. 

4J Farlow, 51. 

■"B. C. "Bob" Rumsey file. Park County Archives. Rumsey 
remembered Berry having a horse named Romeo. 

Thurslon papers. 

Ester Johansson Murray is a native of Cody, the 
daughter of an old-time guide on Park County dude 
ranches. She is a graduate of the University of Wyo- 
ming. Her previous publications include "Short 
Grass and Heather: Peter McCulloch in the Big 
Horn Basin," published in Annals of Wyoming in 

fl Burial of Convenience'? The Story of 


mm m wm n 

■ ... .,;. 





• Daniel. 





La Barge. 

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RPD 95 

the Pinchney 111. Sublette Graues 

By Dorothy B. Duffin 

It seems fitting that the final resting place for the 
earthly remains of a mountain man should be on 
top of a windswept bluff overlooking the site of 
the Green River Rendezvous. The view from this height 
of snow-capped mountains, clear streams, and grassy 
prairies, appears unchanged since the days when Indi- 
ans, trappers and the occasional missionary gathered 
to trade and socialize with one another for a few short 

This particular bluff, named the "Prairie of the 
Mass*' by Father Pierre DeSmet, is located near Daniel 
in Sublette County, Wyoming. A granite cross marks 
the site where DeSmet celebrated the first Catholic Mass 
in Wyoming in 1840.- 

A short distance from the DeSmet monument stands 
a large, pink granite boulder with a bronze inset which 
declares this to be the grave of Pinckney W. Sublette. 
(See inscription, facing page) 

Behind the simple statement lies an intriguing story, 
a story that spans more than a century in time and one 
that raises serious questions as to the identity of the 
occupant of the grave. 

The map shows locations of three important sites in the 
Pinckney Suhlette story. 

1 In this area, near the site of old Fort Hall, the Samuel 
Tulloch party was attacked and Pinckney Sublette was killed 

2 The "P.W.S" tombstone was found at this site, about a 
mile from the mouth ofFontenelle River, on the north hank. 

3 Perry Jenkins selected this location, at the DeSmet Prai- 
rie Mass site, overlooking the 1836 Rendezvous site, for the 
reinterment of the remains of ' P. W. S. ' ' The monument mark- 
ing the location is pictured. The marker reads: 

DIED 1865 

PLACED JULY 4. 1936 

The name Sublette is synonymous with the era of 
the fur trade and has been given to many land- 
marks in the West. Curiously, only Pinckney, 
the least known of the five brothers, has been honored 
by a monument in his name. The way in which this 
came about is even more curious. 

Pinckney W. Sublette's story began in Kentucky, 
in Crab Apple Settlement about thirty-five miles from 
Lexington, where he was born in 1 8 1 2 or 1 8 1 3 to Philip 
and Isabel Whitley Sublette. In 1818 Philip moved the 
family to Missouri. Isabel's brother. Solomon Whit- 
ley, accompanied them, and both families settled in 
the valley of Femme Osage near St. Charles. In 1820 
Philip Sublette died and, in 1822, Isabel followed. 
William, the eldest son, then became the head of the 
family. In 1823 he answered an advertisement for "en- 
terprising young men" and joined William Ashley's 
expedition to the Rocky Mountains. William Sublette 
did well in the fur trade and soon became the friend 
and associate of William Ashley. 

After William left in 1823. Pinckney. who was 
described as "delicate" and already showed signs of 
respiratory weakness, was sent to live with his uncle. 
Solomon Whitley. He was a poor scholar. At fifteen, 
he was still at school and although a schoolmate later 
recalled that he was "the biggest boy in his crowd." he 
was unable to read or write. 

' On June 25. 1936, a monument commemorating the hun- 
dredth anniversary of the crossing of the Continental Divide by 
Narcisa Prentiss Whitman and Eliza Hart Spalding was dedicated 
in Rendezvous Park at Daniel, Wyoming, below La Prairie de la 

- In 1 025 the Knights of Columbus erected a cruciform altar 
at the site of "La Prairie de la Messe" on top of the bluff. Mrs. 
Cyrus Beard, "Some Early Wyoming History West of the 108th 
Meridian," Annals of Wyoming 3 (October. 1925), 133. 

- 1 Ancestry of Solomon P. and Pinckney Sublette. Western His- 
torical Collection, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, 

4 John L. Shaw testimony. "Whitley Heirs case." Finding of 
Facts and Law, Records of the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, June 18, 1900. Copy in Perry Jenkins Papers, microfilm H- 
214, Division of Parks and Cultural Resources. Wyoming De- 
partment of Commerce. 

Annals of Wyoming 

But William had plans for his young brother. One 
day in the spring of 1827 he went to the school and 
took Pinckney away with him. When the caravan left 
St. Louis on April 12, William and Pinckney Sublette 
were among the forty-six men accompanying it. The 
fur company followed the Oregon Trail route through 
the Platte Valley and over South Pass. The 1827 ren- 
dezvous was held at Bear Lake near present-day 
Laketown, Idaho. 5 

It is not known why William decided to take his 
young brother out West with him that year. A number 
of considerations may have influenced his decision. 
Acutely aware of his brother's frail health, he may have 
felt that the outdoor life would be of benefit to him. 
William may have taken pity on Pinckney's surely 
unhappy situation at school and rescued him from the 
tedium of the classroom. " 

At the rendezvous, Pinckney witnessed the usual 
scenes of excess which took place annually. Also, he 
would have been able to mingle with such great moun- 
tain men as Jim Bridger, Robert Campbell and the leg- 
endary Jedediah Smith, all of whom attended that year. ' 

By the thirteenth of July, the rendezvous was over. 
The men broke up into small groups to begin the seri- 
ous business of trapping beaver. William entrusted his 
young brother to the care of veteran trapper Samuel 
Tulloch, described as "a man of the strictest integrity 
and truthfulness." 8 

In spite of the joint occupancy treaty between the 
United States and Britain, the Hudson's Bay Company 
was reluctant to allow the American trappers access to 
territory the company still perceived as belonging to 
Britain. ^ The winter of 1827 was the worst on record 
and furs were scarce. Competition between the rival 
fur companies was at fever pitch, and both parties were 
highly suspicious of the other's motives. 

Peter Skene Ogden, leader of the Hudson's Bay 
Company trappers, was almost paranoid in his belief 
that the Americans were plotting against him. Ogden, 
explorer, trapper, and trader, was a veteran of the old 
Northwest Fur Company. His courage, resourcefulness 
and ability to deal with people made him one of the 
Hudson's Bay Company's most valued employees. ^ 

The Americans resented the over-bearing attitude 
of the Hudson's Bay Company. Ashley was convinced 
that their policy of buying pelts from the Indians, with 
no questions asked, was responsible for the numerous 
attacks on his trappers. ' 1 

The Tulloch party, including Pinckney, traveled 
north and spent some months trapping in the Snake 
country of northern Idaho. When the weather got too 
bad, they started south, and met a party of Hudson's 

Bay Company men under Ogden 's command near the 
mouth of the Portneuf River. Ogden wrote on Decem- 
ber 24, 1827: "The American party of six joined us, 

their leader, a man named Tullock [sic], a decent fel- 

i "12 
low. 1Z 

The unusually severe weather brought extreme 
hardship. It was impossible for supplies to get through. 
The Americans were forced to stay in camp with the 
Hudson's Bay Company men for almost four months 
due to the heavy snow. Growing increasingly anxious 
to retrieve their caches of furs but unable to leave camp, 
the Americans tried unsuccessfully to obtain snow- 
shoes. They were frustrated in their efforts by the sus- 
picious Ogden. 

After several abortive attempts, the Tulloch party 
manufactured their own snowshoes and were finally 
able to leave the uneasy hospitality of the rival Hudson's 
Bay Company camp. Ogden's journal entry for March 
26, 1828, reads: "The Americans (now five in 
number). ..with us since December, departed for Salt 
Lake." 1 -' Three or four davs later, about twentv miles 

^ J. Cecil Alter, Jim Bridger. (Norman: University of Okla- 
homa Press, 1925), 94. The spring assembly of the fur traders' 
caravan had become an annual event. "In the month of March, 
1827," wrote General Ashley. "I fitted out a party of sixty men; 
mounted a piece of artillery on a carriage which was drawn by 
two mules. They marched to or near Grand Lake, beyond the Rocky 
mountains ...arriving June 13, 1827." 

6 Records ofthe Circuit Court of St. Louis, Mo.. June 18, 1900. 
Jenkins Papers, 8, 

7 Alter, 94. 

° Excerpt from a letter, Robert Campbell to Gouverneur K. 
Warren, cited in Alter, 60. The Scottish pronunciation of "Tulloch" 
sounded like "Tullock" and was often spelled that way. Charles 
Larpenteur, Forty Years a Fur Trader, (Chicago: Lakeside Press, 
1933), gives a description of Tulloch: "[w]e reached Fort Cass, 
then in charge of Mr. Tulloch, who was a man possessed of good 
common sense, very reliable, and brave withal. He was called 
the Crane by all the Indians, on account ofthe extreme length and 
slenderness for which he was remarkable - almost a curiosity he 
was extremely popular among the Crows, and well liked by the 
mountain men." 

" Hunter Miller (ed.) Treaties and Other International Acts of 
the United States. (Washington, D.C., 1931), 660; Clifford M. 
Drury, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old 
Oregon. (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1973) I, 278, fn. 

10 Robert C. Johnson, John McLoughlin, Father of Oregon. 
(Portland: Metropolitan Press, 1935, reprinted by Binfords and 
Mort, 1958), 52,53. 

' 1 Letter from William H. Ashley to Thomas Hart Benton, 
Jan. 11, 1829, The State Historical Society of Missouri, Colum- 
bia, Mo., cited in Dale L. Morgan, Ed., The West of William H. 
Ashley 1822-1838, (Bobbs-Merrill Co. Inc., New York, circa 
1964), 184. 

12 Alter, 97. 

13 Morgan, 295. 

from the Hudson's Bay Company camp, the vulner- 
able little band of trappers was attacked by Indians who 
killed three of their party and robbed them of their furs 
and trade goods. Among those killed was Pinckney 
Sublette. Exactly one year had passed since Pinckney 
left the security of his school in St. Louis, Missouri, 
to join his brother William in the fur trade. '^ 

Pinckney Sublette's death in this incident was 
widely reported. An entry in the Ashley-Smith 
Explorations noted: "Among those killed was 
Pinckney Sublette, a relative of William Sublette."'- 5 
A short while after the incident, William Ashley, who 
suspected that the Hudson's Bay Company was party 
to the Indian attack on the Americans, wrote to Sen. 
Thomas Hart Benton, asking for military protection: 

P. Sublette, J. Jondron and P. Ragotte were three of 
seven men under the direction of Mr. James Tullock 
[sic]. Mr. Tullock met a party of sixty men under the 
command of Mr. Ogden on Lewis's Fork (now the 
Snake River, Idaho) of the Columbia River, where the 
two parties remained some days. Mr. T. states that af- 
ter he had left Mr. Ogden's camp some three or four 
days, but while within twenty miles of it, he was at- 
tacked by a party of thirty or forty Indians who killed 
the three men mentioned, plundered him of about four 
thousand dollars worth of furs, forty-four horses and a 
considerable quantity of merchandise. From some in- 
formation received subsequent to this occurrence it is 
believed the Blackfeet Indians committed this out- 
rage. " 

Peter Skene Ogden's journal entry for Saturday, 
May 10, 1828, demonstrates that the Hudson's Bay 
Company men, too, had a healthy respect for the 
Blackfeet Indians: 

[We] saw the tracks of a large band of horses, and I 
strongly suspect the Black Feet have stolen them from 
the American trader... The day guard called to arms 
and at a distance we saw an armed party on horse- 
back making direct for our camp. We were in readi- 
ness in a second and having secured our horses, ad- 
vanced to meet them, but in lieu of Black Feet they 
proved to be Plains Snakes who have just returned 
from Henrys Forks. ..and report as follows: "Two days 
since on our way here we came in contact with a 
party of Black Feet who had 30 horses some of them 
loaded with furs." Among the property they have, is 
the clothing. ..also, horses belonging to the Ameri- 
can party who spent the winter with me. The furs 
they say were left on the Plains. This to us all is a 

Autumn 1996 

most convincing proof, they [the Americans] have 
been pillaged of all they had, and no doubt in my 
mind they are all murdered. Knowing what blood- 
thirsty villains the Blackfeet are and also how care- 
less the Americans are, 1 am of the opinion that not 
one has escaped... The sight. ..caused a general gloom 
over the camp. Probably from the same dangerous 
quarter we are going to, we may be doomed to the 
same fate. God preserve us.... 17 

There is a significant footnote to Ogden's journal 
entry of February 17. 1828, which quotes from an ac- 
count dictated by Robert Campbell in 1870. Robert 
Campbell was one of William Ashley's fur traders and 
he and William Sublette became lifelong friends and 
business partners. Both attended the 1 827 Rendezvous 
and it is possible that Campbell met Pinckney Sublette 
there. Campbell's journal entry states: 

We travelled to the mouth of Portneuf where Fort 
Hall was subsequently built. There I found Mr Samuel 
Tullock with a party of trappers and a brother of 
Sublette was with him - also Mr Peter Skeen [sic] 
Ogden, with a portion of the Hudson's Bay Company 
trappers, all encamped together, snowbound. They 
could go no further. Tullock, when the winter broke 
up, in the spring, was attacked by Blackfeet up the 
Portneuf river. The attack occurred in the morning, 
and they were robbed of all their horses, and had four 
men killed, Sublette's brother among them. He was 
known as Pinckney Sublette. 

Pinckney W. Sublette was killed by a band of 
Blackfeet Indians by the banks of the Portneuf river, 
near the site of old Fort Hall, in March of 1828. The 
evidence for this seems to be overwhelmingly conclu- 

illiam Sublette and his brothers, Milton, An- 
drew and Solomon, continued their association 
with the lucrative fur trading business and 
other ventures, amassing considerable money. After 
years of ill health and the amputation of a leg, Milton 
Sublette died in 1837 and was buried at Fort Laramie, 

'4 Ibid. LeRoy R. Hafen, Mountain Men and the Fur Trade 
of the Far West I, 344; "Listing of Persons Killed belonging to 
the Parties of Wm. H. Ashley and Smith, Jackson & Sublette & 
Co.," The State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 

'5 J. Cecil Alter to Perry Jenkins, May 4, 1935. Jenkins Pa- 

16 William H. Ashley to Thomas Hart Benton, Jan.l 1, 1829, 
The State Historical Society of Missouri. Columbia, Mo. 

' ' Peter Skene Ogden, Snake Country Journals, 1827-28 and 
1828-29. (London: Hudson's Bay Records Society, 1971), 81. 

I^ Anne Morton, Head Archivist, Hudson's Bay Company 
Archives, Manitoba, Canada, to author, September 23, 1992. 


Annals oi Wyoming 

Wyoming. William Sublette married long time friend, 
Frances Hereford, in 1 844. 19 The following March, he 
lost his battle with tuberculosis and died at a hotel in 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while on his way to Cape 
May, New Jersey, in a final desperate attempt to find a 
cure. Andrew Sublette was killed by a wounded bear 
while hunting in the mountains of California in 1 853.~ u 

Solomon Sublette married William's widow, 
Frances Hereford Sublette in 1 848 and this union pro- 
duced three children. The two boys died in infancy, 
and both Solomon and Frances died in 1857, leaving a 
frail little girl, Esther Frances (Fannie), as the sole sur- 
vivor of that branch of the Sublette family. In 1861, at 
the age of eight, Esther Frances Sublette died. 

The three daughters of Philip and Isabel Whitley 
Sublette were also dead. Thus, most of the Sublette 
property passed to her mother's family, the Herefords, 
as her legitimate heirs. 21 Upon the death of Frances 
(Fannie), this branch of the Sublette family also came 
to an end. 

By 1 895 some valuable tracts of land from the 
Sublette estate were still being distributed, and at that 
time, the legal title to the land was challenged by some 
descendants of Isobel Whitley Sublette's side of the 
family. That spring the "Whitley" heirs met in St. Louis 
and hired a lawyer, Judge Thomas B. Crews, to handle 
their case. A substantial amount of money, in the form 
of property, valued at $27,000,000 by the St. Louis 
Chronicle, was at stake. 22 At that point heirs from 
more distant branches of the Sublette family appeared 
with some dramatic information concerning the case. 
The "Sublette" heirs claimed that Pinckney W. Sublette 
had not died in 1828, but had been alive until 1865. 

Mrs. S. M. Ewart, a Sublette heir who lived in 
Sedalia, Missouri, said this fact had come to light in a 
conversation she had with John Clopton, who also lived 
in Sedalia. Clopton, formerly a public administrator 
for Pettis County, Missouri, had been in the Confeder- 
ate service during the Civil War. He took the oath of 
allegiance while a prisoner of war at Alton, Illinois, 
after which he went west in 1 864. It was at that time 
that Clopton said he met a man he believed to be 
Pinckney W. Sublette. After this chance conversation 
with Mrs. Ewart, Clopton's deposition was taken. In 
it, he stated that at a crossing of the Yellowstone River 
in Wyoming, he had met a white man with a band of 
Indians. The guide called this man "Pinckney Sublette" 
and others called him "Bill Sublette" and at the time, 
the man was leading the life of a trapper. Clopton said 
they were together five or six hours, that he had never 
known him before or met him since.'- 3 


(Right): Old Courthouse, St. Louis, where the remains from the gra 
marked "P.W.S. " were taken as evidence to settle the Sublet 
estate. (Below): The building on the left was the home of Pinckney i 
Sublette in St. Charles, Mo., where his family moved in 181 7. The ma 
floor was the Sublette and Morgan Tavern which boasted the first b 
Hard table in St. Charles. 







Autumn 1996 
A short time later, a will, purportedly made by 
Solomon Sublette, was sent to the lawyer's offices. 
There was no accompanying note, and the postmark 
showed it had been mailed from a train between Kan- 
sas City and St. Louis. The will had been witnessed 
by James S. Thompson of Springfield, Missouri, who 
claimed he had been a friend of Solomon Sublette. 24 
The will stated, in part, that Solomon Sublette left 
all his property to his wife Frances, "... and that at her 
death, all of said property to my daughter Esther 
Frances (Fannie) and if she died single and unmarried 
and without issue, to my brother Pinckney W. Sublette, 
if living and at his death if single and unmarried and 

without issue, to my next of kin on my father's 

■a "25 
side... ~ J 

Lawyers for the Sublette heirs sought other wit- 
nesses. They obtained a deposition from James S. 
McKindey who said he had gone west in 1863. He 
said he was working in 1 865 on the Green River be- 
tween Fontenelle and La Barge creeks. There, he met 
a man who said his name was Pinckney Sublette, a 
brother of William, Solomon and Andrew Sublette. 
McKindey said the man was sick. Soon after, he died 
and was buried about a mile and a half above the mouth 
of the Fontenelle. McKindey said that he did not at- 
tend the funeral, but that he saw the grave afterward. ~^ 

Judge Crews, who represented the Whitley heirs, 
traveled by stagecoach to Opal, Wyoming, and from 
there to the Fontenelle Valley to locate the grave of 
Pinckney W. Sublette. The land at the mouth of 
Fontenelle Creek was owned by Judge Clarence L. 
Holden. The Holden family remembered seeing rem- 

1" John E. Sunder, Bill Sublette-Mountain Man. (Norman: Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press, 1959), 149. 

20 Unidentified newspaper clipping, Jenkins Papers. 

z ' "Pioneer Trapper's Skeleton in St. Louis Courthouse Closet," 
unidentified newspaper, Jenkins Papers, 3. 'The little girl was 
taken in charge by relatives of her mother - the Herefords. 
Pinckney W. Sublette had not been heard from in many years. 
Rival guardians struggled for possession of the little girl and her 
fortune, as shown by records of the probate Court of St. Louis. 
She was carried to California by one faction, kidnapped by an- 
other and dragged from place to place until her delicate constitu- 
tion gave way in 1861 and she died." 

LL Sunder, 236. Sunder states that this was a gross evaluation 
of the property but it was indicative of the returns anticipated by 
the participants in the court case. 

23 Findings of Fact and Law, Records of the Circuit Court of 
St. Louis, Missouri, June 18, 1900, in Jenkins Papers, 6. 

24 Unidentified newspaper article, Jenkins papers, 4. 

25 Records of the Supreme Court of Missouri, Vol. 319, p. 1 19, 
The State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 

26 Findings of Fact and Law, Records of the Circuit Court of 
St. Louis, Missouri, June 18, 1900. Jenkins Papers, 7. 


Annals of. Wyoming 

nants of old graves in the vicinity and took Crews to 
the area. There, assisted by members of the Holden 
family. Crews searched for the Sublette grave. Ella 
Holden, daughter of Judge Holden, was present at the 
search. She wrote: "Mr. Crews found a small piece of 
stone partly buried in the sod. Searching farther he found 
another piece of stone which fitted the first piece. Turn- 
ing up a few shovels of sod my brother Clarence struck 
a flat stone and upon digging it out of the firmly packed 
soil, the stone was found to be oval shaped at one end 
and was nearly a foot in length. Brushing the soil from 
the face of the stone this inscription was plainly dis- 
cernible: P.W.S. D. 1865." They excavated further and 
discovered a skull and larger bones. Judge Crews was 
satisfied that he had found the grave of Pinckney W. 
Sublette. He had the skeleton and headstone packed 
and labeled "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit B" respectively 
and sent to the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Missouri. -^ 
Crews then searched for those who had known 
Pinckney Sublette between 1 828 and 1 865. Crews wrote 
that he traveled extensively throughout the west and 

I was often disappointed to find that those whom I 
sought were dead, but was rewarded by finding still 
living some who had not only known Sublette, but knew 
him at the time of his death, and knew his relations in 
St. Louis. The evidence seemed ample to establish the 
claims of our clients and to clear up the long mystery 
as to the fate of Pinckney Sublette.- 8 

The court hearings opened in February, 1900, to 
determine the date of death of Pinckney W. Sublette. 
The plaintiffs hoped to prove, by producing the remains 
of the grave on Fontenelle Creek marked "P.W.S. D 
1865," that Pinckney Sublette had been alive at the 
time when the newly found Solomon Sublette will had 
been made. 

In addition Clopton's testimony, whose recollec- 
tion had been the first intimation that Pinckney was 
still alive at the time of the Civil War, and that of James 
S. McKindey, who had seen Pinckney's grave on 
Fontenelle Creek, the plaintiffs introduced additional 
witnesses and written testimony. 

John B. Wade, of Sweetwater county, Wyoming, 
testified that he went west in 1850; knew Pinckney 
Sublette; met him on Henry's Fork of Green River; 
and several times on the Fontenelle; saw him last in 
July, 1862; stayed all night with him; did not know he 
had died. 

27 Mrs. Cyrus Beard, "Some Early Wyoming History West of 
the 108th Meridian," Annals of Wyoming 3 (October 1925), 132; 
Howard Holden to Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, March 10, 1925, 
Hebard Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyo- 
ming: "In regard to the coffin one could hardly call it such as it 
looked as though there had been a flat stone on each side of the 
body standing edge ways with a large one resting on top of these 
but the varments had evidently dug in to the body as we found the 
scull [sic] above the top stone and there was nothing left except- 
ing the larger bones of the body. These we boxed up and shipped 
in a small wooden box." 

28 Unidentified newspaper article, Jenkins Papers. 


The Pinckney Sublette stone monument and the scene from the 
marker site where the 1836 rendezvous was held. Photos by the 


Henry Perry, of Uinta county, Wyoming, testified 
that he went west in 1850; that he met a man named 
Picknin or Pickin Sublette at Fort Bridger, in 1863; 
was in camp with him for several days; next saw him 
on Green river in the summer of 1864; that Sublette 
lived on the Fontenelle; did not know he had died. 

Charles W. Holden of Fontenelle, Wyoming, testi- 
fied that he settled at Fontenelle in October, 1877, and 
has resided there ever since; that he knew of a solitary 
grave near the Fontenelle creek, about a mile from 
where it empties into Green River; that there was a 
stone standing near the grave with the letters "P.W.S." 
below them the letter "D" and the figures "1865." 

Thomas B. Crews, one of the attorneys for the plain- 
tiffs in this case, testified that he went west in the fall 
of 1897 in the interest of the plaintiffs; that he was 
present when the grave aforesaid was opened and that 
they found a human skeleton in the grave; he also tes- 
tified to the stone and the letters and figures on it. " 

Members of the Holden family also testified that 
they were present when the grave was found. 

The defendants introduced evidence supporting 
their claim that Pinckney had died in Idaho in 1828. 

John L. Shaw testified that he knew William Sublette, 
and Pinckney Sublette; that he went to school with 
Pinckney in St. Charles, Missouri; that in 1 828 or 1 829, 
William Sublette came to the school and took Pinckney 
away and took him west with him; that Pinckney was 
then sixteen or seventeen years of age, and was the 
biggest boy in his crowd; that Pinckney never returned 
from the west, and that in 1842 William Sublette told 
him, the witness, that Pinckney had been killed by the 
Indians; and that the witness understood from William 
Sublette that Pinckney and one companion left the trap- 
ping party and that the companion had returned to the 
party, but that Pinckney did not return because he had 
been scalped by the Indians. u 

A witness for the plaintiffs, Mrs. Mary Moore, who 
was a first cousin to Pinckney, testified that about 1 847 
she had had a conversation with Andrew, an older 
brother of Pinckney. 

He said the Indians attacked them and all made their 
escape but Pinckney. I asked the question "Was he 
killed?" They said they didn't know. I said: "Didn't 
you go back and hunt for his body?" They said no; 
they were afraid the Indians would kill them; they didn't 
know what became of him; they didn't go back and 
hunt for his body." Mrs. Moore testified further that 
she heard nothing more about Pinckney afterwards. ' 

Mrs. Elizabeth A.. Adair, testified that she knew 
Solomon Sublette, and that in 1857 Solomon told her 

Autumn 1996 
that he and his little son were "the only two Sublettes 
left." J - Both Solomon's daughter, Frances, and his in- 
fant son, William, were living in 1857. By only refer- 
ring to his son, Solomon may have meant that they 
were the only two left who could perpetuate the name 
of Sublette. 

The defendants also read the deposition of Isaac 
M. Yardell which had been taken by the plaintiffs. 
Yardell testified: 

That in 1845 he left Cooper county, Missouri, for 
the west with four other persons, of whom Pinckney 
W. Sublette was one; and that Pinckney was then about 
seventeen years old; that he and Pinckney traveled or 
were together from 1845 until 1865, when Pinckney 
died in his presence; that Pinckney was about thirty or 
thirty-five when he died." 

A receipt signed by Pinckney's mother, Isobel Sublette, 
and witnessed by him in 1821, was also introduced as 

After considering the conflicting evidence, the Cir- 
cuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, made its 
decision on June 18, 1900. It concluded: 

That there were two entirely different Pinckney 
Sublettes; that the Pinckney who was the uncle of 
Frances lived in St. Charles county, and went west in 
1829, and was killed by the Indians prior to 1842, and 
that his family never heard of him afterwards; the other 
Pinckney lived in Cooper county, and went west with 
Yardell in 1845 and died in 1865. The court believed 
the family version, and found that the Pinckney under 
whom the plaintiffs claim died prior to 1861, and there- 
fore he could not have inherited from his niece Frances, 
who did not die until May 16, 1861. 34 

In 1911 the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the 
lower court's decision to deny a new trial. The St. Louis 
Court refused to reconsider the case in 1926 and, two 
years later, the St. Louis Circuit Court refused to re- 
open litigation. By this time many of the people in- 
volved in the case had died, the value of the property- 
was reduced by the advance of urban growth, and the 
box containing the remains of "P.W.S." lay forgotten 
in the St. Louis Courthouse. 

29 Records of the Circuit Court of St. Louis. Missouri, June 
18,1900. Jenkins Papers. 

30 Ibid., 8. 

31 Ibid. 

32 Ibid., 9. 

33 Ibid. 

34 Ibid.. 10. 


Annals of Wyoming 

The sworn testimony given in court strongly sug- 
gests that someone bearing the name "Sublette" 
had been seen by witnesses in the West during 
the 1860s. It is possible that other members of the ex- 
tensive Sublette family were in the West during the 
gold rush and Civil War years. 

An inscription, "W. Sublett, June 17, 1849," cut 
into the sandstone walls of Castle Rock along the route 
of the Oregon Trail in Wyoming, mystified historians 
for years. In recent years, the inscription was identified 
by historian Randy Brown of Douglas, Wyoming, as 
that of a 49'er from Pennsylvania who died before 
reaching the gold diggings in 

John Sublette (father of 
John Sublette early pioneer of 
Elk Mountain, Wyoming) 
carved his name on Scott's 
Bluff on his way West in the 
1 840s. It is believed that this 
John Sublette was a cousin of 
the five Sublette brothers. 
His son, also named John 
Sublette, who became the first 
permanent pioneer of Elk 
Mountain, went West around 
1863. He worked for the gov- 
ernment, cutting and hauling 
wood for the military at Fort 
Laramie and later at Fort 
Halleck. This John Sublette 
also traveled in the areas be- 
tween these forts, working on 
the railroads and scouting for 
many years. He claimed to be 
a brother of William, Andrew p yy 

and Solomon Sublette. ^ 6 It 

may have been one of these Sublettes that the witnesses 
met. Over the years, the first name became confused. 
Although the first permanent home in the 
Fonetenelle Valley was built by Justin J. Pomeroy in 
1874, the family first moved into a small log cabin 
near the mouth of Fontenelle Creek. This dwelling had 
been built earlier by a sheepherder, John W. Smith, 
who had moved to a claim further up the valley. This 
cabin soon became too small and while searching for 
logs to build a larger house, the Pomeroys found an- 
other small log cabin near the banks of the Green River, 
evidence of even earlier habitation. ' 

The occupant of the grave marked "P.W.S." lived 


in this area, as well as the man who buried him, who 
must have been a literate man who knew the deceased 
well enough to be aware of his middle initial, and who 
carved those initials on a stone marker. Then there 
were the witnesses, John Clopton and James McKindey, 
and probably others who worked along the Green River. 
Emigrants on their way West also passed through the 

By 1 897 when Judge Crews came to search for the 
grave of Pinckney W. Sublette, many people had lived 
- and died - in the Fontenelle Valley. Writing of the 
search, Ella Holden said her parents recalled the lonely 

grave, "but as there had 
been so many graves 
throughout that section of 
the country they had paid 
little or no attention to 
identification." To this 
day, unidentified graves 
still remain in the valley. 3° 

Sublette County, in the 
western part of the 
state, was created in 
1 92 1 , largely due to the ef- 
forts of Perry Wilson 

Jenkins,one of the state's 
| most illustrious citizens, 
u Perry Wilson Jenkins, 
Z former State Senator. 


1 Originally from Indiana, 
& Jenkins contributed much 
° to his adopted state of 
g Wyoming during a long 


^ lifetime which included 
Jenkins years of public service, 

many successful business 
ventures and an impressive array of interests and hob- 
bies. Among the latter was his deep and abiding inter- 

35 Castle Rock is located on the Mcintosh Ranch, Hwy. 287, 
Fremont County, Wyoming. See The Overland Journal of 
Alexander Love, Detailing His Trip Across the Plains From Penn- 
sylvania To The Gold Diggings in 1849 (Collection of Randy 
Brown): "sunday June 1 7, started at 6. Drove 9m and nooned on 
Sage Crick. I killd an antilope. We see snow all the time on the 
south of the road. Drove 7 m. and camped by the Sweetwater. 
[The location of Castle Rock]... September 7, 1849. Hunted the 
ox all day. Staid with Sublets. The old man very sick. Died after 
I left."36 Mrs. Mary G. Bellamy to Perry Jenkins, undated letter. 
Jenkins Papers. 

37 Annals of Wyoming, 3 (October 1925), 47, 48 

38 ibid. p.63. 

Autumn 1996 

est in the early history of Wyoming. It was this love of mains, and 1 feel satisfied that you will do your part in 

history that inspired Jenkins to select the name the matter." 42 

"Sublette" for Wyoming's last-created county. 39 On July 27, 1935, on the bluff overlooking the site 

The Wyoming State Historical Society had been of the trappers rendezvous, near Daniel, Wyoming, un- 
created in 1895. Recognizing the importance of the der the auspices of the newly formed Sublette County 
region in the westward expansion of the nation, Jenkins, Historical Society and its president, Perry Jenkins, the 
along with a few other interested colleagues, formed remains of "P. W.S." were reinterred. Ex-Governor B.B. 
the Sublette County Historical Society in 1935. Brooks, former president of the Wyoming Senate Nels 

Despite the disparity of the evidence produced con- Pearson and historian Charles Kelly of Salt Lake City 

cerning the identity of Pinckney W. Sublette and attended. A prayer was offered by the Rev. Fullerton 

"P.W.S." which resulted in the court's bizarre conclu- of Rawlins and the site was marked by a granite boul- 

sion that there must have been two entirely different der. 3 

Pinckney Sublettes, Jenkins believed them to be one Later, Charles Kelly described the event in a letter 

and the same. A few contemporary historians shared to a friend: "Two weeks ago I helped bury the bones 

this view, believing Pinckney Sublette's more than of Pinckney W. Sublette, one of the famous Sublette 

thirty years' anonymity, during the peak years of the brothers of St. Louis. He was originally buried at the 

western migration, could be explained. One possibil- mouth of Fontenelle Creek, north of Kemmerer, Wyo., 

ity was that Pinckney had "sold out" to the Hudson's but was dug up and shipped to St. Louis 40 years 

Bay Company and spent many years trapping in north- ago." 44 

ern Canada. Counting this theory, meticulous records The local newspaper reported: "A large and enthu- 
were kept by the Hudson's Bay Company throughout siastic gathering of people from all sections of the State 
the years and the archives staff could find no indica- were in attendance ....Hon. Perry W. Jenkins of Big 
tion that Pinckney Sublette was ever in their employ or Piney was master of ceremonies and read a very inter- 
that such a transaction had occurred. 40 esting paper on the Rendezvous of 1835." 4 ^ 

Another explanation would be that he might have There is no record of the exact text of Perry Jenkins 
been held captive by the Blackfeet Indians for many address, but from reports and correspondence concern- 
years and unable to communicate with the outside ing this event, he referred to Pinckney 's many years of 
world. All journals of early explorers and trappers speak captivity by the Blackfeet Indians, the years spent trap- 
of the Blackfeet Indians as formidable foes. In those ping in northern Montana, his eventual return to the 
early days it appeared that they wanted no contact with Fontenelle area in 1 864 and his death and burial there, 
the whites. It is unlikely they would have held a cap- The Wyoming Historical Landmark Commission 
tive for a long period of time. said in their Fifth Biennial Report that: "Promptly at 

Another theory was that Pinckney had been living 4.30 p.m. on the ridge near the DeSmet Monument, 
with the Indians by choice, had married and had a fam- the bones of Pinckney W. Sublette, after whom Sublette 
ily. He may have become a tribal leader. 41 Even if this County was named, were placed in a grave with Chris- 
had been remotely possible, given the uncanny ability tian burial rites ordered by the U.S. Circuit Court of 
of the mountain men to disseminate information among St. Louis." 4 " 

their brethren, it is unlikely that word of Pinckney's The following year the Commission planned to 

existence would not have reached William Sublette. dedicate a number of historical sites, among them the 

Sometime after the Sublette court case of 1928, 
Perry Jenkins conceived the idea of having the remains 

of "P.W.S." returned to Wyoming to be reburied in the 39 Robert G. Rosenberg, Wyoming's Last Frontier, Sublette 

Pinedale area. After obtaining a waiver from Lee County. (Glendo: High Plains Press, 1990), 38. 

Sublette, a distant family member, and promising to f, Morton t0 author - Se P tember 23 - 1992 - 

. . _,,....,.,. , 41 Agnes Wright Spring to Perry Jenkins, Jan. 30, 1935. Jenkins 

give the remains a proper Christian burial, Jenkins and PaDers 

Arthur G. Heyne, circuit court clerk, petitioned the cir- 42 Arthur G Heyne to Perry Jen kins, May 20, 1 935. Jenkins 

cuit court of St. Louis, Missouri, for permission to re- Papers. 

move the bones to Wyoming. The procedure was a 43 Big Piney Examiner, August l, 1935. 

lengthy one and it was not until May 20, 1935, that u C , harles Ke "V° ™T Mart '*\ A , ug - 12 ' 1935 ' Bancroft Li " 

. brary, University of California, Berkeley. 

Heyne was able to write to Jenkins: "This closes an 45 Big Piney Examiner, August 1, 1935. 

effort on my part for some six years to bury said re- 46 fifth Biennial Report, Wyoming Historical Landmark Com- 
mission, 1935-36. 


Annals or Wyoming 

grave of Pinckney W. Sublette. J. S. Weppner, secre- 
tary of the commission, authorized a bronze plaque to 
be made by the Sheridan Iron Works to be placed on 
the granite boulder at the burial site at the time of the 
dedication on the Fourth of July, 1936. 47 

It is interesting to speculate on the role played by 
Perry Jenkins in these events. Considered by many to 
be the leading authority on the Sublettes, Jenkins had 
all the available information concerning Pinckney 
Sublette. Heyne had sent him a typed transcript of the 
court case. The clerk had commented on the court's 
decision of the two Pinckney's, adding that there was 
substantial evidence to show that the bones were those 
of Pinckney Sublette. 48 

Historian Grace Raymond Hebard, concerned with 
the ethics of burying the remains in a spot other than 
that from which they were taken, asked: "Have we any 
information that Pinckney was up there near Daniel 
with his brothers, and what evidence is there that he 
was?" 4 ^ There is no evidence that shows he was ever 
in the area. 

In 1935, before the reburial at Daniel, Jenkins wrote 
to J. Cecil Alter, author and editor of the Utah Histori- 
cal Quarterly, requesting information concerning the 
death of Pinckney W. Sublette. Alter sent quotations 
from the Ashley-Smith Explorations, Ashley's letter 
to Sen. Thomas Hart Benton and excerpts from Peter 
Skene Ogden's journal and concluded his letter by say- 

Obviously we are forced to the conclusion that 
Pinckney Sublette was murdered the spring of 1828 
within twenty miles of Snake River in Idaho, possibly 
on the Portneuf. Sorry it conflicts with your grave 
marker "P.W.S. - 1865" and possibly the location near 
Pinedale, Wyoming. ^ 

Pinckney 's lengthy disappearance is the biggest 
flaw in the Jenkins theory. As an intelligent, 
educated man, it is difficult to understand why 
Perry Jenkins so completely ignored much of the evi- 
dence, preferring to believe a version that can only be 
called, at the very least, "far-fetched." The witnesses 
swore under oath that they had met a man named 
"Sublette" during the 1860s, but none spoke of this 
man having been held captive by the Blackfeet Indians 
for more than thirty years, a fact that surely would have 
surfaced during conversation with him. 

Was Perry Jenkins aware of the full story before 
he received the report from Arthur G. Hayne and the 

information from J. Cecil Alter? If he were ignorant of 
the complete facts until that time, it would have put 
him in a difficult position. The remains of "P.W.S." 
had been handed over to him through the newly formed 
Sublette County Historical Society, an elaborate reburial 
ceremony had been planned to be attended by many 
dignitaries. Sublette County, named by him, was about 
to be enhanced by having the remains of Pinckney 
Sublette enshrined there. 

After reading about the ceremony in the newspa- 
per, Lee Sublette, of St. Louis, Missouri, wrote to Mr. 
Jenkins stating that the family had accepted Pinckney's 
death in 1828, and referring to the court case com- 
mented: ".... they just took Pinckney and made two 
out of him. That case put Tom Crewes [sic] on the way 
to success." Sublette continued: "Mr. Jenkins, I no- 
ticed an article in the paper, in this article it states your 
letter said there is some doubt as to the accuracy of the 
evidence presented in proof of the identity. It seems 
that you wanted to bury these remains then whether 
you blew if this man was a Sublette or not."$ 1 

Had Lee Sublette correctly concluded that this was 
indeed "a burial of convenience"? Was the story of 
Pinckney's sojourn with the Blackfeet Indians a con- 
venient way of explaining his lengthy disappearance? 

As time passed, stories about Pinckney grew more 
fanciful. A California woman, Mrs. Gertrude Ristrem 
wrote Jenkins in 1940: 

My maternal grandmother was the daughter of Mary 
Ann Sublette O'Neil, first cousin of Pinckney Sublette, 
one of the first pioneers of Wyoming. He was cap- 
tured in 1828, when a boy twelve years old, by the 

47 Ibid. See also correspondence between J. S. Weppner and 
Sheridan Iron Works, from February to July, 1935. Records, Wyo- 
ming Historical Landmark Commission, Wyoming State Archives, 
Division of Parks and Cultural Resources, Wyoming Department 
of Commerce. 

48 Arthur G. Heyne to Perry Jenkins, May 25, 1936. Jenkins 
Papers. See also other correspondence between Heyne and Jenkins 
from Dec. 27, 1934 to May 20, 1935. Jenkins Papers. 

49 Grace Raymond Hebard to Perry Jenkins, July 1 1, 1935. 
Jenkins Papers. 

50 J. Cecil Alter to Perry Jenkins, May 4, 1935. Jenkins Pa- 
pers. This conclusion, the most logical one, is shared by most 
historians, including authors Dale L. Morgan and Fred R. Gowans, 
both authorities on the fur trade era, and John E. Sunder, biogra- 
pher of William Sublette. See Dale L. Morgan, Ed., The West of 
William H. Ashley 1822-1838, (New York: Bobbs-Merrill Co. 
Inc., circa 1964); The State Hist. Soc. of Missouri, Columbia, 
Mo. Notes, Book II, No. 440; Fred R. Gowans, Rocky Mountain 
Rendezvous, (Salt Lake City: Gibbs M. Smith Inc., 1985), 33; 
Sunder, 76. 

51 Lee Sublette to Perry Jenkins, Aug. 2, 1935. The italicized 
sentence is omitted from the typewritten copy. Jenkins Papers. 


Blackfoot Indians. My great-grandmother heard that 
he had lived with the Indians until his death about 1 879. 
He was the ehief of some tribe of Indians when he died 
in Wyoming. Could you tell me the correct year of his 
death; by what name was he known among the Indi- 
ans; how was his identity established and if he fought 
against the United State Army at any time? Did he 
ever write his name or leave drawings, hoping to be 
traced by his brothers "Rocky Mountain Bill" Sublette, 
Milton, Solomon or Andrew, I have heard of strange 
drawings in caves in the west and often wondered if he 
had tried to communicate that way. 5- 

In his reply Perry Jenkins wrote: 

Pinckney was born about 1809. There is no record of 
his marriage or of any children. He went west with 
William and was reported killed by the Blackfeet In- 
dians in 1 82° when about eighteen years of age. His 
reputed death was disputed and conclusive evidence 
was produced of his having died on Fontenelle Creek, 

Wyoming, in 1 865 It does not appear that Pinckney 

tried to communicate with his brothers, although evi- 
dence points to his having visited Missouri in the '40s. 
He spent most of his life with the Blackfeet Indians in 
Montana. One who knew Pinckney in middle life spoke 
of him as 'a recluse trapper about 5' 10' with dark hair 
and sandy beard.- 11 - 5 

An Oklahoma woman wrote Jenkins in 1949: "I 
noted in the newspaper item of the reburial of Pinckney 
that his two sons had guided the expedition to his grave, 
and that was the first mention of any children I had 



Over the years myths became confused with fact. 
In 1951 Jenkins moved to have some of these "facts" 
incorporated in a privately funded bronze plaque to 
replace the existing tablet on the Pinckney Sublette 
monument. In a lengthy draft prepared by Mr. Jenkins 
it would state that Pinckney had gone west in 1 829 and 
was captured by Blackfeet Indians near Fort Hall, re- 
turning to the Green River area in 1 864 where he died 
in 1 865. Restricted by the size of the existing plaque, a 
severely edited version was submitted by Jim Harrower 
of Pinedale, Wyoming. It read: 

Pinckney W. Sublette 

Mountain Man - Trapper 

Came West with Rocky Mt. Fur Co. 1828 

Captive of Blackfeet Indians for years 

Reinterred by Sublette County Historical Society 

1935 55 

Autumn L996 
The project was not completed and the original 
plaque remains on the monument. The headstone in- 
scribed "P.W.S. D. 1865" disappeared from the St. 
Louis courthouse. Originally slated to be buried along 
with the remains at Daniel, Wyoming, no trace of the 
headstone was found and no more was heard of it. 

One of the more fascinating aspects of history is 
that it so often lends itself to individual inter- 
pretation. It is inevitable that much of the past 
will remain a mystery, but it is imperative that over- 
zealousness in trying to solve these mysteries does not 
result in the facts being tailored to fit a prescribed pat- 
tern. It took Perry Jenkins many years to accomplish 
his project and he deserves commendation. Through 
his efforts, he perpetuated the memory of a young boy 
who would otherwise have been forgotten. He honored 
the name of the Sublette family who did so much to 
open the West for others and he gave dignity to the 
human remains that had lain neglected for so many 
years in the vaults of the St. Louis Courthouse. Re- 
gardless of who lies buried beneath the granite marker, 
be it callow youth, grizzled trapper or unknown pio- 
neer, his story is yet one more patch in the colorful 
quilt of Wyoming's history. 

5- Mrs. Gertrude Ristrem to Jenkins, October 11,1 940. Jenkins 

" Jenkins to Gertrude Ristrem, November 30, 1940. Jenkins 

54 Hazel Lloyd to Jenkins, April 29, 1949. Jenkins Papers. 

5? Jim Harrower to Jenkins, November 21. 1951. Jenkins Pa- 
pers; Notes of Perry Jenkins. Jenkins Papers. 

Dorothy B. Duffin was born and reared in London, 
England, and educated at Kilburn Lane Girls Acad- 
emy, Paddington. She entered the Civil Service af- 
ter graduation, working for the wartime Ministry 
of Supply in Westminster. In 1953 she emigrated to 
New Zealand where she continued her career in 
government service. Since settling in America in 
1957, Dorothy and her husband Reg have traveled 
extensively in the Western United States. Now liv- 
ing in a suburb of Chicago, Dorothy is presently 
working on a biography of Capt. H. G. Nickerson, 
an early Wyoming pioneer. 


Wyoming Memories 

1996 Annual Trek, 

Wyoming State Historical Society, 

Weston County Sites 

Editor's Note: The Wyoming State Historical Society was founded in 1953 and almost since its beginning, the 
annual trek has been the highlight of summer activities for society members and friends. For many years, local 
historians presented brief talks at various trek sites and the reports were printed in the following issue of Annals 
of Wyoming. With this 1996 trek, organized and sponsored by the Weston County Chapter, we revive this 
tradition of publishing the trek accounts. The editor thanks Dr. Mike Jordingfor supplying Annals with copies 
of the reports and the various writers for allowing us to reprint their reports of the talks. 

June 29, 1996 

The trek began at Newcastle where participants buried in this cemetery. The only record of those per- 

boarded buses and traveled to the site of the cemetery sons buried in Cambria Cemetery comes from analysis 

near the old town of Cambria. of the grave markers. Anna Miller Museum files show 

that two studies of the markers were done, one by 

Cambria Cemetery Leonard Cash and Neil Sweet and another study by 

/ r» A/f-7 T J- Mrs. Darrell Brassfield. While some grave markers still 

bit Dr. Mike lording . „ r , f 

^ give us information 01 the deceased and are what we 

Cambria, Wyoming, in northeast Wyoming devel- consider permanent, many of the wooden crosses and 
oped due to Burlington Railroad's need for coal. People sandstone markers have lost their identifying features, 
from all over the United States and the world moved to Just as we don't know the identity of many of the 
the small town. Some came as single men, and some people buried in Cambria Cemetery, we also don't know 
were married. Some brought families with them, and what the cause of death was in nearly all of the in- 
some began families in Cambria. And with the new stances. Some legends exist about how people died, 
life in the canyon, there also came death. A cemetery The names of two persons whose stones are illegible 
grew so that proper burials could be made and so that had interesting and similar fates. The story was that 
appropriate memorials could be erected to honor those sandstone boulders fell and killed the men in separate 
people who ended their lives in this frontier land, accidents. Adorning the head of these unfortunate souls' 
Cambria Cemetery, like the town of Cambria, began gravesites are the actual stones that killed the men. 
with the need for coal and faded from memories when Covered by about one hundred years of lichens and 
the mining prospects dwindled. worn by wind, water and weather, the boulders shed 

In 1 896, the horse-drawn hearse would come out of no light as to the identity of the person buried there, 

the town up the steep canyon to the junction at Break When doctors work on a diagnosis, they, in the end, 

Neck Road which we passed about one mile back on make an educated guess of the illness that affects an 

the road. Then, it would follow the same path that we individual. When historians try to make sense out of 

followed this morning across the open meadows to- the past, they make an educated guess from the facts 

ward this cemetery. The hearse's first view of the cem- that they can gather. So, let's look at some facts about 

etery would be as it crested the rocky ridge to the east, the known deaths from Cambria Cemetery. There are 

The people accompanying the funeral procession came several variables that affect analysis of grave markers 

up the canyon just west of the rocky ridge. It was a such as in this cemetery, and those variables may lead 

much shorter route, and the mourners would frequently to errors in interpretation of the results. Sampling er- 

arrive at the cemetery before the hearse. rors could be based on wealth of those living in 

We know dates on fewer than half of the people Cambria. For example, maybe only the wealthy could 

afford stones of granite or decorative markers that with- 
stood one hundred years of Wyoming weather. If so, 
then we would analyze only deaths of wealthy fami- 
lies. Another variable affecting data from this cemetery 
was the fact that not everyone who lived or worked in 
Cambria was buried in this cemetery. Some people 
chose for various reasons to buried elsewhere. There 
were many other cemeteries in the area, such as Boyd 
Cemetery north on the prairie or Greenwood Cemetery 
in Newcastle. Religious choice or affiliation with a fra- 
ternal organization may have affected whether perma- 
nent markers were erected. However, for the purpose 
of analysis, let us consider and rely on the premise that 
the legible markers represent a fair cross-section of the 
deaths that occurred at Cambria. If that is true, then it 
is fair to make generalizations about the lives and deaths 
at Cambria from 1889 to 1928. We might even gener- 
alize these same figures to other frontier towns. 

Death was much more common to children then than 
it is today. Children under the age of two years old 
accounted for about 25% of the deaths. What was even 
more remarkable was that 91% of these children were 
actually one year old or younger. 

Based on the legible gravestones, we can probably 
justify twenty-two newborn deaths. What that means 
is that at the time of delivery or very shortly after de- 
liver}', there was a significant chance of losing the new- 

Autumn 1996 
born. Obstetrical care during Cambria's existence prac- 
ticed home deliveries; the doctor probably was not 
present at most deliveries and was summoned for only 
difficult deliveries. Hygiene was simply not as me- 
ticulous and rigid then as it is today. 

Antibiotics were unavailable until the 1930s, well 
after Cambria mines were abandoned. Infectious dis- 
ease likely claimed the majority of babies under two 
years old. Diphtheria, pertussis, tuberculosis, and pneu- 
monia, all of which primarily attack the respiratory 
system, were the prominent killers of the young chil- 
dren. Today, we almost ignore those diseases because 
of the widespread immunization practices that are in 
place. However, during the years that Cambria was 
bustling, there were no vaccines, and there were no 
antibiotics. Diphtheria vaccine arrived in 1923; per- 
tussis (whooping cough) vaccine arrived in the late 
1940s; tuberculosis antibiotics, namely streptomycin, 
arrived in 1944; and pneumonia antibiotics, namely 
sulfa in the early 1930s and penicillin in the late 
1 930s, were not yet discovered when Cambria existed, 
and therefore were unavailable to people in Cambria. 
People did their best to help young children, but the 
toll was high. Only the lucky and strong ones survived. 

Not only was labor and childbirth difficult and 
sometimes deadly for the infant, but mothers were at 
risk also. From the records that I have, 73% of the 

Cambria Hotel Cambria 


Annals or Wyoming 

deaths that occurred in women over the age of fifteen From The Cambria Mining Company Personal Injury 
years occurred in women 18 to 45 years old. Almost Report 1891 to March 1915, one can trace the safety 
half of those were late teenage to thirty-year-old women, record of the underground coal mines. Over the twenty- 
Childbirth and its complications may be likely expla- four years covered in the report, 62 accidental deaths 
nations for the mortality in this age group. Home-births were recorded. That represents a rate of 2.58 deaths 
with less than perfect hygiene, difficult and long la- per yea r. The average age of the men that died was 32 
bors, and prolonged bed rest during the postpartum years i d w j m me age range being 15 to 63 years old. 
periods undoubtedly led to the high number of deaths T he most comm0 n cause of death in the record was 
in this age group. from falling rock. In fact, falling rock accounted for 
Medical history talks about epidemics in which large 6 j 0/o of the deaths 0n ly one death was accredited to 
numbers of people were affected by a specific disease smoke or gas inhalatioiL The mines were appar ently 
that caused great suffering or death. If one analyzes the fr£e of poisonous gases . Several mines existed in the 
records from Cambria Cemetery, you notice the high ^^ and a later speaker mjs moming wi]1 discuss 
death numbers in various years, such as 1 9 1 8 and 1 9 1 4 ^ ^ Howevei . death from falH rock in each of 
Across the world an epidemic of "flu" infected the world me mines was significanti ranging from about 54 o /o of 

and ended up killing more people (20 million) in 1918 ,, , ., . ., T , AA . , o _ 0/ ~,. , ., . 

, F 6 , .„,,,;,, T ^ i ■ the deaths in the Jumbo Mine to 83% of the deaths in 

and 1919 than were lost in World War I. Cambria was . . „ _ 

, „ , • . r-., , ., r .1 Antelope # 3 mine, 
apparently not spared. One-third of the deaths tor the r . 

^ , _. . \ rti , . , n , ~ Tragedy can be denned in many ways. It could be 

five years 1914-1918 occurred in 1918. One can sur- . . - - , , T . , , 

. iL LiL l(C • , n „ „ , .,, ,• the loss of a father or a mother. It might also represent 

mise that the Spanish flu, as it was called at the time, . • , TT 

., , ,, , ,, , r , .. • r, _. • the loss of several miners in one accident. However, 

contributed greatly to the number of deaths in Cambria 

, , m o the loss of a child or of several children grabs at our 

during 1918. fo 

There were other years that had extremely high hearts P">bably more than any other loss. Cambria had 

death numbers. For instance, the year 1914 accounted lts tragedies, and I would like to close with a story that 

for 30% of the deaths from 1914 to 1918. Other high be § an in 1895 - Matt and So P hia Hl11 had a daughter, 

death years were 1900-1902, 1906, 1908, and 1919- Maria, who was three years old. She died in April 1895. 

1921. The causes for these years of high incidence We are not cert ain why she died. In September 1895, 

deaths are less well known than the flu epidemic of Matt and Sophia were blessed with another daughter, 

1918. Infectious diseases, without a doubt, contributed Matilda. She lived but one month before she, too, died, 

largely to the sporadic increases in death during those The despair must have be great, but Matt and Sophia 

years. There are no recorded medical facts accounting Hill continued their efforts to have children. The final 

for Cambria's fluctuating death rate, and one can only chapter in this tragedy was the death of their newborn 

guess that diseases like cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, boy, Frederick, just short of a year later in August 1 896. 

diphtheria, scarlet fever, and pneumonia contributed It was a story not all that uncommon, I'm sure, and 

largely to the mortality in Cambria. represented the precarious lives that people led in 

People that have an appreciation for the hardships Cambria, Wyoming, 
of winter understand that life is a bit more risky during 

Wyoming's cold and snowy seasons. Ranchers often (The group descended into the valley where the town 

talk about their old livestock not making it through of Cambria once stood). 
another season. Game biologists know very well the 

hardships of winter on wild animals. It is not surpris- 'There Was Never a Place Like It! 

ing then to learn that the death rates were significantly ^j. Mabel Brown 

elevated for the "wintry" months in Cambria. During 

the six months November through April, Cambria Reminiscing, Cambria old-timers sighed and said, 

Cemetery's record showed 61% of its deaths while from 'There was never a place like it." They may well have 

May through October only 39% of the deaths. Surpris- been right for in 1890, Cambria was known as The 

ing or not, illness and death is more likely during the Model Coa i Camp f the World 
winter seasons. Whether it was the harsh weather that Originally the company planned to build its camp 

killed or the infectious diseases like pneumonia or in- on the table above the canyon . The thought was that it 

fluenza that overcame people, Cambria suffered simi- would be more healthful and free of the noise and dirt 

larly as we do today. f tbe can y 0n . Thirty houses, a school and a central 

Underground coal mining was a hazardous business, hydrant to serve the area were constructed. The site 

and injuries and deaths did occur in the Cambria Mines. was ca n ed Antelope City. 


Autumn 1996 



Cambria barber shop of Frank Goode 

The school housed all grades, elementary through 
twelfth. Cambria had a four-year high school before 
Newcastle and was one of the first in the state to offer 
the four years. 

As people moved into the mining camp they 
seemed to prefer life in the canyon. To attend, school 
children in the canyon had to climb 365 steps, but at- 
tend they did. (See page 7 for photo of Cambria 
school). \n later years a school was built in the canyon 
and it was the Antelope children who did the climbing. 

Twenty-three nationalities made up the population 
of Cambria. Often only the native language was spo- 
ken in the home. When they began school, children 
found it necessary to learn English right along with 
their other studies. A goodly number of these first gen- 
eration Americans finished high school and went on to 
colleges or universities. 

There were three churches in Cambria, the Catho- 
lic, Episcopal and the Methodist. All of them worked 
together for the common good. Ladies of the churches 
held bazaars, bake sales and other events. Proceeds were 
divided equally among the three denominations. When 
help was needed for a special project of one group, all 
pitched in to insure the project's success. (This before 
they even heard the word ecumenical). 

There was no police force in Cambria — not because 
there was no crime — but because the camp was an un- 

incorporated community, A watchman served as a 
deputy sheriff to keep law and order. 

There were no saloons. The Kilpatrick brothers had 
promised their mother, Rachel Kilpatrick that there 
would be no saloons in the camps and they kept their 
promise. The lack of saloons did not mean there was 
no liquor, however. The beer truck came up to the out- 
skirts of the camp once a week. Miners brought in car- 
loads of grapes, which they made into wine. If a fellow 
got really dry, he could always make his way down to 
Salt Creek to the halfway house. 

Everything was owned by the Company — the 
houses, stores, utilities, everything— except the U.S. 
Post Office and it was believed that the Company had 
much to do with the appointment of the Postmaster. 

The Cambria Trading Company was comparable 
to big city department stores, offering the latest in goods 
and fashions. In fact, people came to shop, not only 
from Cambria, but also from Newcastle and towns 
throughout the Black Hills. 

There were numerous fraternal organizations in the 
camp, each with a considerable membership. Among 
the lodges were the Knights of Pythias, the 1.0. 0.F. 
(Odd Fellows), the Royal Neighbors and the Redmen 
and their auxiliaries. They provided many community 
services as well as sponsoring entertainment and recre- 


Annals of Wyoming 

Most of the homes in Cambria had electricity and 
running water, but not all of them. Some had steam 
heat. Outhouses were built on the hill slopes behind 
the houses. There were bath houses for the men where 
they could clean up and store their work clothes in lock- 
ers until the following day. Families of the workers 
could use the facilities early during hours when the 
men were working. (There were few if any bathrooms 
in the early Cambria homes.) 

An unusual feature of this memorable place was 
the ditch down the main street of the camp. People 
dumped their wash water and other waste into it. In 
spring and early summer, a little creek ran down the 
ditch keeping the channel reasonably clean. By mid or 
late summer the garbage became pretty "ripe." A sum- 
mer storm that washed the stuff down the canyon to- 
ward Newcastle, leaving the street clean again, was a 
welcome relief. Boards were laid across the ditch to 
aid in crossing the street. (Can't you just see those la- 
dies in fashionable clothing lifting their skirts as they 
tripped daintily across the ditch on their way to an event 
at the Opera House?) 

Traveling troupes from across the nation performed 
at the Cambria Opera House. Stage plays fresh off 
Broadway stopped at Cambria, as did opera singers, 
magicians, well-known bands and orchestras. Cambria 
may have been only an out-of-the-way mining camp 
but it was '"financially attractive." 

Music was ever important to Cambria. From the 
first, it had two fine bands, the Cambria Concert Band 
and the Miners Band. There were numerous small bands 
and orchestras, also some fine singers. (This brings to 
mind a legend, which is more than a legend. While 
serving as company doctor, Dr. N.E. Wells was called 
by a young mother to see her baby daughter. It seemed 
the child cried incessantly. There was no way the mother 
could stop the crying. After a careful examination the 
doctor told the mother. "There is nothing wrong with 
your baby. She's just exercising her lungs. She is go- 
ing to be a fine singer some day." Mary took the doctor 
at his word. She worked hard, earned money to go to 
Chicago and, eventually, to California. She gave the 
child the best of backgrounds in music. Her daughter 
did become a recognized singer. She also married the 
famous Jerry Lewis. They are now divorced, but their 
children are part of the Cambria story. The Rottelini 
families of Sheridan and the Farellas of Newcastle are 
all descendants of the little mother who lived in 
Cambria. Her maiden name was Mary Rottelini. Kids 
in Newcastle and probably in Sheridan were jealous of 
the Farella and Rottelini kids, for, whenever a Jerry 
Lewis movie came to town, the family got free passes.) 

Baseball was also important in the social life of 
the camp. The teams were champions throughout the 
hills for many years. There was a great deal of local 
rivalry between the Prairie Hay Seeds and the Cambria 
Never Sweats. There was nearly always a game be- 
tween the two teams on the Fourth of July. The Fourth 
of July and Labor Day celebrations were the really big 
times of celebration. There were baseball games, pic- 
nics, greased pig and greased pole climbing events. 

There were contests between bands of the area and 
special speakers. Highlight of the day was often, the 
tug-of-war between the "best men" working inside the 
mines and the "best men" working outside the mines. 
It went on for more than an hour and large sums were 
bet on the outcome. Dancing, food and drink were all a 
part of the day and friends came from all around to 
share in the festivities. 

Married men were encouraged to apply for work at 
Cambria. No loiterers were allowed in camp, but it was 
common knowledge that a man who either played an 
instrument or who could play baseball had a good 
chance of employment. 

The high school basketball teams were among the 
best in the state. The girls were often champions. The 
boys, too, were excellent players. One year they had a 
woman coach, probably the first in the state. The boys 
were on a roll. The team just couldn't seem to lose. 
Then, some envious, rival coach complained that it was 
highly improper for a woman to coach a boys team. 
Miss Mary Jane Davis was dismissed as coach but her 
boys had received good instruction and went on to win. 

The life of the Cambria mines came to an end on 
March 17, 1 928. George Franklin blew the last whistle 
when he went off shift. (By the way, George was the 
husband of that first woman to coach a boys basketball 

Workers had known for some time that the mines 
would close. Many had homesteaded in the area and 
went to their land to live and work. Some found jobs in 
nearby mines, while others went to Sheridan or Gebo. 
Some, unable or unwilling to accept the closure, re- 
mained as long as possible. Tales of a mass exodus are 
but a myth. There are many people, descendants of 
Cambria worker, who live in the area. 

Cambria was possibly not as great as the folk who 
once lived there recall, but it must have had a special 
something — a something, which cannot quite be cap- 
tured, but which will live on in the minds and hears of 
those who once made the little place their home. 
(Many of the trek participants walked down the 
valley, viewing the ruins of the old town, returning to 
hear about the geology of the vicinity). 

Th t? Geo log if oj Cambria 
by Larry Bcrger 

I have been asked to present a brief overview of 
the geology of the Cambria area, and some informa- 
tion on the mines themselves. 

The oldest rocks exposed in the vicinity of Cambria 
are in the Speartlsh Formation of the Permian Period. 
Drill deep enough here, about 7000 feet, and you will 
hit Precambrian-age rock, the same as is found in the 
core of the Black Hills. 

Above the Precambrian rocks, lie the Deadwood 
Formation of the Cambrian Period, the Englewood 
limestone, Pahasapa limestone, Minnelusa Formation, 
Opeche shale, and Minnekahata limestone of the Mis- 
sissippian, Pennsylvanian, and Permian periods. Above 
these are the Spearfish Formation, Gypsum Spring For- 
mation, Sundance Formation, and the Morrison For- 
mation of the Triassic and Jurassic Periods. 

At the beginning of the Cretaceous Period, uplift 
west of the Black Hills caused meandering river sys- 
tems, flowing generally northeast, to carry clastic mate- 
rial across the Black Hills area toward a vast shallow 
sea. Somewhere in the Hills area, these rivers merged 
with rivers flowing primarily northwest which were 
draining the Sioux uplift to the east. 

The rock you see in the canyon walls around you 
is the Lakota Formation of the early Cretaceous Pe- 
riod. In the Cambria area, the Lakota Formation con- 
sists mostly of sandstone, conglomeratic sandstone, 
claystone, and intermediate rock types. The Lakota here 
varies in thickness from about 160-260 feet. 

Except for two layers of carbonaceous material in 
the lower part of the formation, the Lakota has few 
fossils in the Black Hills area. Some cycad, fern and 
conifer foliage fossils have been found, along with a 
few fresh-water mollusks and dinosaur bones. 

During most of the remainder of the Cretaceous 
Period, thousands of feet of boring shales were depos- 
ited. Toward the end of the Cretaceous, after the Fox 
Hills Formation was deposited, uplift related to the 
Laramide orogeny started to occur. From the Cam- 
brian Period till this point, the area that eventually be- 
came the Black Hills had been mostly flat, and under 
shallow seas more often than not. Uplift from the 
Laramide continued until the Oligocene. With the up- 
lift, deposition virtually ceased and erosion began. The 
uplift drained the seas from the region. From 4000 to 
a maximum of about 5500 feet of sedimentary mate- 
rial could have been deposited on top of the Lakota 
Formation here at Cambria prior to the major Laramide 
uplift. The Black Hills were in place by the late Oli- 

Autumn 1996 
gocene Epoch, and most of the present surface was 

That is a generalized overview of the area geol- 
ogy. Since we are at Cambria, of special interest is the 
lower section of the Lakota Formation. The lower part 
of the Lakota Formation is generally between 100 and 
140 feet thick in the Newcastle Quadrangle, but in 
places, it is only between 50 and 100 feet thick. The 
two reasons for this variation in thickness are the "ero- 
sional relief on the surface of the underlying Morrison 
Formation, and the slight folding and erosion that oc- 
curred during the deposition of the lower part of the 
Lakota Formation. The lower part of the Lakota For- 
mation consists mostly of light-grey to light yellow- 
ish-grey, fine-grained, friable sandstone, in thin to thick 
tabular beds. In places, cross-bedding can be seen in 
the sandstone beds. At the bottom of the lower section 
of the Lakota formation, and again at about 60 feet 
above the bottom, there are bands of carbonaceous 
material These bands, particularly the upper one, can 
be traced around the western side of the Black Hills, 
from around Edgemont to the Alladin area. 

In most places, these beds of brown carbonaceous 
siltstone and silty shale are only a few inches thick. In 
a few places, this carbonaceous zone thickens into coal 
seams. At Cambria, these coal seams were thick enough 
to mine at a profit. That is why the railroad came this 
way. The coal from these mines made it profitable for 
the railroads to open up this area of Wyoming. 

The coal beds within the carbonaceous zone in the 
lower Lakota formation are not continuous. Actually, 
they are shaped somewhat like lenses — thin on the 
edges, thick through the middle, and thin again at the 
other side. In many places, the zone contains no coal. 
The thickness of the coal beds varied with the position 
of the floor (which was a wavy, partly erosional, sur- 
face), and with the thickness of the sandstone, shale 
and bone partings with which it is inter-bedded. The 
coal was laid down in a mostly freshwater swamp or 
marsh, probably at or near the coast of the shallow sea 
which was generally to the north of this area. Another 
factor affecting the thickness of the coal beds was the 
slight folding of the underlying rocks that was going 
on in the early Cretaceous. 

The coal beds at Cambria, where mined, ranged 
generally from three to ten feet in thickness, and aver- 
aged about five feet. In the later period of mining, an 
area of about 200 acres was found in which the thick- 
ness of coal ranged from eight to eighteen feet. 

The railroad was not interested in just any coal. 
Lignite coal and sub-bituminous coal was available 
around the west. They needed high-quality coal for their 


Annals oi Wyoming 

locomotives. Most of the coal here at Cambria is ranked 
as 'high-volitile C bituminous' - very good coal. It is 
hard, banded in alternate dull and bright layers, and 
has a well-developed prismatic cleavage. Other coals 
mined along with the bituminous coal were cannel coal, 
splint coal, and pine needle coal, which is felted masses 
of carbonized fibers. 

Most of the coal produced at Cambria was used 
for locomotive fuel on the Burlington Railroad, but 
some of the coal was capable of being made into coke. 
Coke is made by heating coal to a high temperature in 
an oven. In the coking process, coal is turned into a 
hard, porous, blackish-grey residue, with a metallic 
luster, that is composed of about 92 percent carbon, 
the remainder being mostly ash. Coke was used as a 
fuel and as a reducing agent to smelt gold and other 
metals from ores in a number of Black Rills mills. 
Cambria coke was also used by smelters and foundries 
in Colorado and other places. 

The coking ovens used at Cambria were circular, 
dome-roofed chambers built of silica-brick. Since this 
shape resembled an old-fashioned beehive, they were 
called "beehive ovens.'" Beehive ovens were the most 
modern coking technology available in the United 
States at the time they were built. The coal was piled 
inside and ignited. When most of the volatile elements 
in the coal were driven off, the flames would die down. 
The fire would then be partly smothered with coal dust, 
and the heap sprinkled with water. The coke was then 
loaded into railcars. 

At the time, a niche market existed for coke, and 
Cambria's mines made a profit on it until the market 
changed and more efficient coke- producing technol- 

ogy came along. Beehive ovens wasted the valuable 
gas and coal tar by-products of the coking process. A 
total of 74 coking ovens were built down the canyon. 
Each oven produced about a ton of coke per day. Be- 
tween 1891 and 1903,106,880 tons of coke was pro- 
duced from 224,750 tons of coal. 

Based on information available in 1950, the origi- 
nal coal reserves at Cambria, in beds greater than 14 
inches thick, were estimated at about 36 million tons. 
Of that amount, about 12.5 million tons were mined 
and shipped, and about 8.5 million tons were lost in 
mining. Most of the remaining reserves were believed 
to be in small pockets that would be difficult and ex- 
pensive to mine. The field was regarded as mined out. 
The Cambria mines were regarded as a showcase for 
the coal industry. The mining methods and machinery 
used at Cambria were the most modern at that time. 
Mining in general, and coal mining in particular, has 
traditionally been an extremely hazardous venture. The 
safety and health record at the Cambria mines was re- 
markably good for the times. Fatalities per ton of coal 
mined at Cambria were about half of national average 
for the coal industry at that time. 

Nature played a part in this. The coal formation at 
Cambria had little of the explosive and poisonous gas- 
ses normally found in coal mines. Also, the mines were 
fairly dry. Little pumping of water was required. The 
chief problems in coal lines are ventilation and roof 
support. The main cause of fatal accidents in coal mines 
is rock-fall, cave-in, explosive gases, and asphyxiant 
gases. At Cambria, more than half of the fatalities were 
due to falling rock or coal. Explosion and asphyxiation 
played only a very minor part. The Cambria mines did 

James L. Green, 
his drivers and 
horses, Cambria 
mines. The 
arrow points to 
Green, standing 
at left center. 


Autumn 1996 

have their share of accidents and fatalities, but the fa- on which were two evaporating pans, the larger of the 

talities were infrequent and usually isolated, not large two being six feet wide and sixty feet long. For the 

groups of miners at a time. next six years, LeGraves produced salt by evaporating 

I have found little information on the methods em- offspring water during the summer months and ship- 
ployed in the mining, other than descriptions of the ping his product to the mining districts. Some of the 
machinery used. There is a good description of the salt went to the general stores of Deadwood and Lead, 
machinery in Mabel Brown's book, "... and then there but its primary use was in chloridizing the gold and 
was one. " In the small portion of the mines that I have silver ores mined southeast of Deadwood. 
examined, there was little timbering other than at the The Cambria Salt Company was organized in 1907 
entrances. The mining method used was "room and and prepared to manufacture and refine salt for the large 
pillar," where pillars of coal were left to help support western market. In an unsuccessful effort to locate the 
the roof as the rooms were mined. In coal mining, tim- bed of rock salt from which the brine comes, several 
bers were normally used to supplement the pillars of wells were drilled, one of them to a depth of 825 feet, 
coal, though I did not see any. Once inside the tunnel The evaporating and purifying plant, arranged for coal 
entrance, the only timbers I could see were used as fuel, was located over the divide to the west, next to 
supports for telephone wire and electrical wire that ran the Cambria coal mine; the brine was pumped to it. 
along the tunnels. N.H. Darton reported in 1 904 that the spring along Sa!t 

In 1 908, there were five mines: the Jumbo, Ante- Creek flowed at the rate of about one gallon per second 

lope 1 , Antelope 2, Antelope 3, and Antelope 4, with and that the water contained a little more than five per- 

eleven main entrances. There was about five and one- cent sodium chloride (salt). According to Darton' s cal- 

half miles of main haulageway, connecting some 1045 culations, about 35,000 pounds of salt was produced 

acres of workings. What these figures were twenty years every 24 hours. (The spring flowed at about the same 

later when the Cambria mines closed, I have no idea. rate when tested in 1962, and the concentration of so- 

At each entrance there were two parallel tunnels. The dium chloride in the water, at that time, was nearly six 

larger one was the main haulage way. The smaller one percent). 

was the ventilation air passageway. There were huge, All of the equipment was sold by the sheriff at a 

15-foot-high, squirrel-cage fans in the canyon outside bankruptcy sale on May 1 1, 1909, to settle the indebt- 

each of the tunnels. Along the air passageways, there edness owed to the Exchange National Bank of 

were three-inch thick, solid-wood doors. By opening Hastings, Neb. 
or closing the doors leading to the various rooms or the 

main haulage tunnel, safe ventilation could be main- ( Next sto P was near the site °f the Canyon Springs 

tained throughout the various areas of the mines. You Stage Station) 
can still see the foundations for the fans and the motors 

that drove them, at most of the main mine entrances. Canyon Springs Stage Station 

There is even one nearly complete fan still standing at /,„ A]j ce M Tratebas 

one entrance up Camp canyon. 

The Canyon Springs Stage Station may be the most 

(The trek party left Cambria and proceeded back to famous , ocation along the Cheyenne-Deadwood stage 

Highway 85, stopping at a turnout along the road). route There was ±Q we i 1 . known robbery at the station 

- g . of a sizable gold shipment, but the gold was not the 

Lambna Salt Mine only matter of importance. The robbery and its after- 

by Leonard Cash math changed history in the area. The immediate change 

was a shift in the stage route away from the heavy tim- 
In the early days of the development of the Black ber north of the station to the open country around the 
Hills, the nearest railroad was nearly 200 miles away, northwest side of the Black Hills. In the year following 
With wagon transportation costs to the mines being the robbery, the exhaustive search for the bandits drove 
high, a bulky yet necessary commodity like salt had robbers away from the Cheyenne-Deadwood trail into 
high value. Springs with a heavy salt content were dis- the Powder River country and beyond, to the Hole-in- 
covered by Europeans in the canyon below this point the- Wall in the southern Bighorn Mountains, 
on July 8, 1877, and in November, 1878, James The trail route up Stockade Beaver Creek was es- 
LeGraves came to the area to produce salt for the grow- tablished in June 1877, the second year of the stage 
ing Black Hills mining market. He erected a furnace line's existence. The first route headed northeast at Hat 


Annals or Wyoming 

Creek to enter the Black Hills at Red Canyon and reach 
Deadwood via Custer. Massacre of the Metz party and 
other attacks in Red Canyon led to discontinuing that 
route. The new route north of Hat Creek crossed 
present-day Highway 85 several times. Where High- 
way 85 has a bridge over Robbers Roost Creek, the 
stage route crossed the creek also and stayed east of 
Highway 85 from there north. The trail followed Stock- 
ade Beaver Creek starting at its mouth and came out of 
the valley onto the ridge-tops a few miles south of the 
Canyon Springs station. The trail reached elevations 
of more than 6000 feet as soon as it climbed out of the 
valley. The area between the Canyon Springs and Cold 
Springs stations was the first high elevation section of 
the trail for parties arriving from Cheyenne. To get 
through the deep winter snows, the stage line put run- 
ners on the coaches at Jenney Stockade and sleighed 
all the way to Deadwood. The trail past Canyon Springs 
was used from June 1877 until October 1878. 

Canyon Springs was a relay location, where the 
stock tender could change the horses in seven minutes 
and the coach would be on its way. The station had a 
log cabin that included a stable area and living quarters 
for the stock tender. The cabin was on the rim of the 
canyon just above a spring high along the canyon wall. 
The spring provided easy access to water, which other- 
wise would require a steep hike into the canyon. 

Prior to the September 1878 robbery, bandits had 
concentrated on the open country between the edge of 
the Black Hills and Hat Creek, especially near the Rob- 
bers Roost station. They usually struck at night. The 
stage managers did not expect a robbery at Canyon 
Springs on a day run. For gold shipments, the stage 
line used the iron -clad coach known as the Monitor. 
The strongbox bolted to the coach floor was guaran- 
teed to resist cracking for 24 hours. The stage carried 
no public passengers when they were transporting gold. 

To protect the large gold shipment on the Septem- 
ber 26 run, the stage company left three messengers at 
the Stockade Beaver Station, said to be seven miles 
south of Canyon Springs, and planned to have them 
ride alongside the coach on the south bound run. Three 
company "shotguns," Scott Davis, Gale Hill, and Eu- 
gene Smith, were riding with the coach. The stage 
driver was Gene Barnett. A telegraph operator, Hugh 
Campbell, was hitching a ride to the Jenney Stockade 
telegraph office. Unknown to the stage, a bandit hang- 
ing around Deadwood observed the Monitor leaving 
and rode ahead to notify the bandits waiting at Canyon 
Springs. One account says that Superintendent Will- 
iam M. Ward, who was supposed to accompany the 
coach to Hat Creek, stopped at the Cold Springs Sta- 

tion, which was a regular dinner stop, and returned to 
Deadwood on horseback. 1 Another account names a 
different station where he stopped for dinner and left 
the coach. 2 Most stories relate that the Cold Springs 
Station was only two or three miles beyond Canyon 
Springs. Recent investigations to relocate traces of the 
trail and stage stations indicate it was actually about 
double that distance. The Cold Springs station was on 
a cutoff to Custer developed after the 1877 route by- 
passed that town. This important junction was better 
known than the small relay station at Canyon Springs. 

When the coach reached the Canyon Springs sta- 
tion at about 3 p.m., the stock tender was not in sight 
since he had been tied up and locked in the grain room 
of the stables. Gale Hill, riding shotgun, jumped down 
to chock the wheels. The bandits hiding in the cabin 
started firing through the logs. In retelling the story 
years later, Scott Davis remarked that they fired with- 
out calling out "holdup" or other verbal warning.3 Rob- 
bery 'protocol,' usually included a verbal warning, 
which gave people a chance to hold up their hands, 
instead of risking being killed or wounded. These rob- 
bers, however, were more ruthless. 

Hill was shot, but managed to crawl behind the 
stable and later shot through a window to wound Frank 
McBride, one of the robbers. The robbers shot through 
the coach roof, which was not lined with metal. A wood 
splinter hit Eugene Smith in the head and knocked him 
unconscious. Scott Davis fired from the coach with little 
effect. Then he and Hugh Campbell got out the far side 
of the coach and backed into the trees. The unarmed 
Campbell strayed from the cover of the coach and was 
shot and killed. Davis urged the driver, Gene Barnett, 
to drive off and save himself and the coach. Before he 
could, one of the robbers left cover and grabbed the 
horses. Davis was able to shoot and wound him. The 
robbers then grabbed Gene for protection and began 
advancing on Davis. Unable to shoot and knowing the 
lockbox was guaranteed to withstand breaking for 24 
hours, Scott backed farther into the trees and went for 
help. He walked seven miles south to the Ben Eager 
place where he borrowed a horse. (Although the early 
accounts refer to the Stockade Beaver Station as being 
seven miles south, recent investigations show a dis- 
tance of about 8.5 miles between the stations.) On the 

1 Joe Koller, "Cold Springs Station," in "Cheyenne-Deadwood 
Trail Trek, #16," Annals of Wyoming 38 (April 1966), 99. 

- Agnes Wright Spring, The Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage 
and Express Route. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1946), 

3 "Canyon Springs Stage Robbery," News Letter Journal, De- 
cember 6, 1990. 

4 Spring, 269. 

way to the Stockade Beaver station, he met the three 
messengers who had started out to investigate why the 
stage was late. The stage usually kept a tight schedule 
and could make the Cheyenne to Deadwood run in 47 
or 48 hours. When they got to Canyon Springs, they 
discovered that the robbers already left, after opening 
the strongbox in only a couple hours. 

Accounts differ on the details of what happened. ^ 
William Miner, still tied up in the grain bin, said that 
the robbers tied everyone to trees after Scott Davis got 
away, took the safe out of the coach, and spent several 
hours trying to open it. Eugene Smith, who had been 
grazed in the head, said the robbers took him and Gene 
Barnett and drove the coach out of sight into the tim- 
ber. They tied Smith and Barnett to the coach wheels 
and broke open the safe in about two hours with a sledge 
hammer and cold chisel. Meanwhile, Miner got loose 
and walked to Cold Springs where he got a horse and 
rode to Deadwood to report the robbery and get a doc- 
tor for Hill. 

The stage company offered a S2500 reward for re- 
covery of the valuables and conviction of the robbers. 
The shipment, worth $27,000, was mostly gold bars, 
but there was also some gold dust, cash, and jewelry. 
People riding passenger coaches often sent their jew- 
elry and other valuables in the Monitor's strongbox for 
safe keeping. Not just the size of the robbery, but the 
fact that the robbers killed Campbell, angered local 
people. Many posses set off in different directions 
searching for the robbers' trails. To the east, a posse 
picked up the trail at Slate Greek, where three robbers 
had bought a wagon and two ponies to transport the 
wounded robber, Frank McBride. A miner later reported 
that McBride died and was buried in the Rocheford 
area. The posse tracked the robbers east of Rapid City 
onto the Pierre trail. Finding the abandoned wagon 
along the trail, they assumed that McBride was dead. 
At one camp, they found a gold brick. Later, Andy 
Gouch, who had ridden as advance guard for the rob- 
bers, was arrested. He directed officers to gold retort 
that had been buried at the same camp. William Ward, 
who was with this posse, tracked Thomas Jefferson 
"Duck" Goodale to Iowa and recovered another gold 
brick and jewelry. Goodale escaped when Ward was 
bringing him back by train and was never recaptured. 
Ward was fired for stupidity or duplicity, various news 
media accusing him of both. 

Although posses exploring in other directions did 
not locate the tracks of other Canyon Springs robbers, 
a major effort to round up all road agents in late Sep- 
tember and October 1878, resulted in several confes- 
sions. At Deadwood, William Mansfield and Archie 

Autumn 1996 
McLaughlin confessed to the Canyon Springs robberv 
and others, after being taken to a secluded spot and 
"drawn up a tree."^ They later retracted the Canyon 
Springs portion of their confessions. Masked vigilan- 
tes intercepted the coach taking them to be tried and 
hanged them. The Black Hills Daily Times editor 
thought they were not implicated in the Canyon Springs 
robbery because, by then, enough robbers had alreadv 
been rounded up. 

When Al Spears disposed of jewelry and gold dust 
in Oglalla, Nebraska, a U.S. Marshal suspected him of 
the Canyon Springs robbery. When arrested. Spears 
had jewelry on him from the treasure coach and a gun 
that he took from Gale Hill. He received a life sentence 
for his part in the robbery and the killing of Campbell. 

It was never clear if all the Canyon Springs rob- 
bers were caught or accounted for. The fact that some 
were coerced into confessions they later retracted adds 
confusion to the story. Robbers caught with the evi- 
dence for one crime likely committed others for which 
they were never tried. In a final accounting, Frank 
McBride died. Duck Goodale escaped, and Al Spears 
went to prison. Andy Gouch served a two-year sen- 
tence in prison. Several others rumored to have been in 
on the Canyon Springs robbery were caught for other 

Whether all the gold was recovered also is not clear. 
The records do not add up to the full $27,000 value, 
although every new spaper account or other report may 
not have listed exactly what was recovered with each 
arrest. In re-enacting the robbery at the 1914 Wyoming 
State Fair, Davis stated that all but the few dollars used 
to buy the wagon and horses had been recovered. 7 Popu- 
lar opinion suggests that gold may still be buried near 
Canyon Springs. A recent metal detector magazine ar- 
ticle sent many enthusiasts scurrying along the Chey- 
enne-Deadwood trail, looking for gold. Considering that 
some gold was hidden along the Pierre trail and other 
recovered in Iowa and Nebraska, it seems far more 
likely that any gold not recovered during the robber 
roundup might be still hidden in some obscure and very 
distant place. It is unlikely that the robbers would have 
abandoned any near the robbery location, since no one 
was that close on their trail. 

After the major robber roundup in 1878, outlaws 
shifted their attention toward the Powder River coun- 
try, then to the Hole-in-the-Wall, and eventually else- 
where. Although mail coaches going to and from the 

5 Spring, 277. 

6 Black Hills Daily Times, November 13. 1878. 

7 "Canyon Springs Stage Robbery," News Letter Journal, De- 
cember 6, 1990. 


Annals or Wyoming 

Black Hills experienced occasional robberies, the Chey- 
enne-Deadwood stage never had another gold robbery 
along the trail. After October 1878, coaches avoided 
the wooded country at Canyon Springs and traveled 
instead around the northwest edge of the Hills past Inyan 
Kara and Sundance, then east to Deadwood. Even when 
the mail was shifted to a Sydney to Rapid City route 
around the east side of the Black Hills, settlers, min- 
ers, and supply wagons continued to travel along the 
western routes to Deadwood. Only when the railroad 
arrived in 1891, did the coaches finally stop running. 
Note on sources: Most of this account is from re- 
search by Agnes Wright Spring who had access to origi- 
nal accounts and records and interviewed many people 
who had first-hand knowledge about the trail. Annie 
Tallent gives a somewhat different account of the fa- 
mous robbery, including a completely different set of 
robbers, and places the robbery at the Cold Springs 
station. 8 Tallent's account was written from memory, 
rather than a result of extensive historic research and 
evaluation of conflicting reports. The 1878 newspaper 
accounts report the location as Canyon Springs. Spring 
wrote that people often used the better known station 
name, but that the robbery actually took place at Can- 
yon Springs. 9 The landscape of the robbery, especially 
the fact that Scott Davis could hide in the trees and 
escape down the canyon, fits the Canyon Springs sta- 
tion perfectly. 

8 Annie D. Tallent, The Black Hills: or. The Last Hunting 
Ground of the Dakotahs. (St. Louis: Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 

9 Spring. 265. 

(The trek party- turned off of the highway onto a county 
road and proceeded south). 

Early Ranches on Stockade Beaver 
Creek by Mary Capps 

Settlement of Stockade Beaver Valley began 
about 1 880, following the gold rush to Dakota Terri- 
tory in 1 876. In 1 877 the Cheyenne Black Hills Stage 
Company established the Jenney Stockade Route, 
bringing many travelers to the western Black Hills. The 
stock-raising and farming potential of the country were 
soon recognized and, by 1 879, Sundance, 40 miles north 
of here, was already a trading post and post office for 
local ranches. By 1 878, Ben Eager was living on a ranch 
on the upper end of this valley. 

In 1 883, when William Henry Fawcett, my grand- 
father, located his homestead on this site, there were 
already several ranches in the valley. Thomas P. Sweet, 


who had filed on this place, relocated a couple of miles 
down the valley where there was more desirable land 
for raising hay. My grandfather purchased Sweet's 
homestead rights for $20 and a team of "well-broke" 

Thomas P. "Tom" Sweet was among the earliest 
ranchers in the valley. He had arrived in Custer, Da- 
kota Territory in 1877. In 1878 he was elected sheriff 
there, and after serving a two-year term, he moved to 
Wyoming to settle on Beaver Creek. The Sweet place, 
where he lived for many years, is located two miles 
down the valley. His great-grandson, Tom Sweet, lives 
on a place about a mile from the original Sweet Ranch. 
The Sweet homestead is owned by Tracy Hunt. 

True Ranches of Wyoming now own the LAK, one 
of the earliest and best-known ranches in the valley. 
The LAK has a colorful history, beginning with the 
earliest permanent settlers coming to the area. A sign 
along U.S. Highway 1 6 near ranch headquarters marks 
the approximate site of the original Jenney Stockade. 
A military outpost at first, the stockade was converted 
in 1877 to a stop on the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage 
route. The ranch produces hundreds of acres of alfalfa 
hay, irrigated from the LAK Lake. A large earthen 
dam impounds water from Stockade Beaver Creek to 
create the lake. The LAK Lake is a popular boating 
and fishing spot for local residents. 

Joseph C. Spencer of Lead, S. D., was the original 
owner of LAK Ranch. Spencer and two of his partners, 
Burroughs and Flarida, bought the Jenney Stockade 
from the stage company in 1877. Spencer borrowed 
the initials of other partners, L(ake), A(llerton) and 
K(ing), (Chicago-based banker-cattlemen) to make up 
the "LAK" brand. After the Jenney Stockade Route 
was abandoned by the stage company, the stage stop 
became the headquarters for LAK Ranch. 

Spencer was an entrepreneur in an undeveloped 
country. He stocked his ranch with cattle driven up from 
Texas, engineered and built an extensive irrigation sys- 
tem, and enlarged the ranch holdings. By the mid- 1 880s, 
he was busy developing the Sylvan Lake Resort, just 
east of Custer, S.D. He filed placer claims on exten- 
sive oil holdings in what is now Weston County. Frank 
Smith was interested in oil exploration and was one of 
J. C. Spencer's partners in this emerging enterprise. In 
1914, Spencer sold the LAK to the Ohio Company, 
and it has since had several owners. (We will have a 
good view of the LAK and its modern castle, built in 
the 1960s, as we drive down the valley to Highway 

In 1 878 and 1 879 Joseph Henry Freel came through 
this area, hauling freight from Fort Frederick, Colo- 

rado. via Fort Laramie and on to Deadwood. Freel saw 
great potential for raising stock in the area. By 1 880, 
he had homesteaded on a place about two miles to the 
north. His brother-in-law, Frank Smith (married to Josie 
Freel) arrived that year and settled on a place about a 
mile up the valley. Other Freel family members came 
to settle on Oil Creek and on the "Limestone" just east 
of here. 

My grandfather, William Henry "Billy" Fawcett, 
came to the hills in 1877, hauling freight along the 
Bismarck trail. He was the first post-master in Lead, 
Dakota Territory, and later operated the Fawcett- 
Delehant Grocery there. He became interested in the 
western regions of the Black Hills through his travels 
locating oil placer claims. His name appears in many 
records of the early oil companies, Eaggle Oil, Beaver 
Oil, Whoopup Oil and Gas, Westara, and others. In 
1883 he located the home place here. However, the 
Fawcett family did not move to Wyoming until 1900, 
and over the intervening years, he hired several ranch 
managers. One of the earliest to live here was Frank 
Allebach. for whom my father, Frank William Fawcett, 
was named. 

Horses were much in demand in those years. The 
country is much better suited to raising horses than 
cattle, so in the early years the Fawcett Ranch raised 
horses. One can still find remnants of the great, round 
horse corral in the canyon just east of the house. In 
1889 Billy Fawcett hired R. A. (Bob) Harper to oper- 
ate the ranch. This was an enduring partnership. In 1 887 
Harper bought the Fod Hansen place, just a half mile 
to the south. He moved there in 1900, when my family 
moved to the ranch. Bob Harper and Billy Fawcett 
talked to each other every day over the next 36 years, 
until my grandfather died in 1936. They are probably 
still talking together, taking the hide off the "Demo- 
crats." Harper's son, Robert A. Harper, lives on the 
original Harper place just over the hill to the south. 

Many of the ranches here in the valley are small as 
compared to our ideas of a typical Wyoming ranch. 
This place has about 3000 acres of deeded and leased 
land. The acreage includes several homesteads, bought 
up over the years as settlers proved up and moved on. 
There is one 160-acre Stone and Timber Claim in the 
beautiful red canyon to the east. It has remarkable es- 
thetic value, but the vertical canyon walls would pro- 
vide a challenge for mountain goats, so it is poor for 
grazing. Many of the early ranches hold territorial wa- 
ter rights, either on springs or on the flow in Stockade 
Beaver Creek. The ranch here has rights on five springs 
which originate on the place. The present home was 
built in 1904, at a cost of $1200. 

Autumn 1996 

By 1886 other families had arrived to settle in the 
valley. The Ed Thomson family came from Ouebec, 
Canada, and spent the first winter in a dugout that had 
been home for the stocktender at Beaver Station on the 
Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage. Several of the Thomson 
children later took up homesteads in the vicinity of 
Thomson Canyon, a few miles up the valley. U.S. Con- 
gressman/Senator-Elect Keith Thomson was a grand- 
son of Ed Thomson. 

The F. B. Fawcett family (no relation to W. H. 
Fawcett) arrived from Kansas in 1887. Some of the 
Fawcett children were of school age. so Mr. Fawcett 
went to the county seat in Sundance and made arrange- 
ments for a school. A schoolhouse was constructed and 
a Mr. Nefsy was hired to teach that first year. Fawcett, 
Thomson, and Freel children attended the first term. 
The late Frank Fawcett, one of Weston County's re- 
markable oral historians, recalls that Mr. Nefsy was a 
good teacher, but very strict with discipline. Lacking a 
school bell, he used a stick to pound on the side of the 
school building to call the children in from recess. They 
were admonished to stay close to school in order to 
hear the signal, or the stick became a different sort of 
threat. Mr. Nefsy had good reason to keep close watch 
over the children. There were still many grizzlies, moun- 
tain lions and wolves in this frontier country. Of course 
all of the children walked to school. This first school 
in Weston County was located about three and a half 
miles north of here on the present-day Russell Davis 

For a long time during the peak years of home- 
steading, many more families lived on Stockade Bea- 
ver Creek than live here today. Within a distance of 
twenty miles, there were five one-room schools. Places 
were so close together one could hear the neighbor's 
rooster crow. Roads were poor and transportation slow. 
People, who had to depend on each other, developed a 
strong sense of community and interdependence. The 
country school was often the center of social life. Tele- 
phones, better roads, school buses, and better educa- 
tional opportunities in the town school finally brought 
the country school to extinction. 

An entire book could be written about the people 
of Stockade Beaver. We have not mentioned Earl, a 
bachelor who seldom ate at home, but made periodic 
visits to the neighbors for 7000-calorie meals. Or Ed, 
who drove to Beaver Creek even Sunday for twenty- 
five years to see Mamie, and then married someone 
else. We haven't mentioned fierce battles over water 
rights or shootings at the sawmill. We haven't men- 
tioned Loretta's sour cream chocolate cake, which 
prompted cowboys to ride a bit smart in order to arrive 


Annals oi Wyoming 

right after dinner, for dessert. The school picnic, barn 
dances, the rifle club, the Beaver Creek Telephone 
Company, the Busy Beaver Womens' Club were all a 
part of the fabric which made up a community. Some 
people came, found the country too harsh and didn't 
stay. Others came and took root like a cottonwood tree. 
Some came for a time, moved on to greener pastures, 
but still return periodically for pilgrimages to the "home 

(The trek continued south to U. S. Highway 16 and 
stopped at the historical marker east of Newcastle). 

Trek Conclusion 
by Dr. Mike Joraing 

What you have heard throughout the day from other 
speakers is truth based on some facts, some memories, 
some estimations, and perhaps spiced up or juiced up 
to keep all of us interested. Well, let me ask some ques- 
tions of everyone or anyone on this trek. First, is 
Sacajawea buried in Fremont County, Wyoming? Sec- 
ond question: During a December 1866 blizzard, did 
John Portugee Phillips ride his horse 236 miles in two 
days from Fort Phil Kearny to Fort Laramie? And the 
final question: Is the history of Wyoming totally dis- 
covered, preserved, and interpreted? 

The answers to the questions are "no, no, and no." 
We can get to thinking that there is no more room for 
research when we see or hear about what is being done 
on the history of Wyoming and other states. However, 
the facts are that there exists a vast area of untouched 
information yet to be discovered and researched. 

The Ancient Trails of Northeast Wyoming Arche- 
ology Society organized and prepared a plan a year or 
two ago to do research and interpret stage stations along 
the Cheyenne Deadwood Trail. The effort reached in 
several directions including ranchers, personnel of the 
Bureau of Land Management, and amateur historians 
and archaeologists. The goals were to identify all of 
the stage stops along the trail from the Cheyenne River 
about 30 miles south of Newcastle to Mallo Camp about 
25 miles north of Newcastle. 

After applying for and receiving a grant from the 
BLM, the group researched old General Land Office 
maps from 1 880s surveys of Wyoming and tried to trace 
points from those old maps onto present-day topogra- 
phy maps. They also used aerial photographs to iden- 
tify remains of foundations and to locate ruts on the 
trail. The stations existed along a transportation line 
from the railroad country around Cheyenne to the Black 
Hills gold fields. From south to north, the stations that 

served the frontier travelers were Robbers' Roost at 
the Cheyenne River crossing about 30 miles south of 
here, Beaver Creek (main crossing), Jenney Stockade 
where we now are standing, Stockade Beaver Station, 
Canyon Springs approximately where we stopped just 
past Four Corners, and Cold Springs. The final prod- 
uct will be interpretive sites at or near the original sites. 
Small informative plaques will detail the history of the 
stage station and the Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail. 

Much information exists about Jenney Stockade, but 
the story of the station, best known as a stage stop on 
the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage Line, predates the stage 
system by almost 20 years. In 1857 Lt. G. K. Warren, 
accompanied by geologist Dr. F.V. Hayden, camped 
on the east side of Beaver Creek and built a log corral. 
From this semi-permanent camp, the Warren party ex- 
plored the Black Hills for mineral wealth. 

In March 1875, seventy-five geologists and miners 
led by Professor Walter P. Jenney left Cheyenne for 
the Black Hills. At Fort Laramie, 432 soldiers under 
the command of Lt. Col. Richard I. Dodge joined them. 
When they reached this area in June 1 875, they built a 
log fort and named it Camp Jenney. This site served as 
a supply depot for all the other mining exploration 
camps throughout the Black Hills. It was not until June 
1 877, that a cut-off on the Cheyenne-Deadwood Stage 
Line was built leading to Camp Jenney's most re- 
nowned period of operation. 

Early in 1 878, a "rush" was made by the Deadwood 
miners for the Jenney Stockade district where oil had 
been discovered bubbling from a spring. Within a short 
time, claim cabins sprung up to the west of Jenney 
Stockade, and an estimated 100 oil well claims were 
established at that time. 

On June 22, 1 877, the land on which Jenney Stock- 
ade stood became the property of Flarida, Burroughs 
and Spencer. Spencer obtained Flarida's and Burrough's 
interest and the LAK (Lake, Allerton, and Spencer) 
Cattle Company was established during 1877-1878. 
And so, we continue to know the area as the LAK. 

The question comes up again. Is there any Wyo- 
ming history to research, preserve, and interpret? Ab- 
solutely, yes! Our research may not center on popular 
sites like Jenney Stockade, but there exists so much to 
learn. When we return to Weston County in 1 to 15 
years with the State Historical Society Annual Trek, 
we will sit upon Rattlesnake Ridge and view the Chey- 
enne-Deadwood Trail for almost 60 miles. 

(The trek concluded with visits to local sites in 
Newcastle, including the Joe Lefors house and the Anna 
Miller Museum). 

Recent Acquisitions in the 
Hebard Collection, UW Libraries 

Compiled by Tamsen L. Hcrt, University of Wyoming Libraries 

The Grace Raymond Hebard Wyoming Collection is a 
branch of the University of Wyoming Libraries. It is housed 
in the Owen Wister Western Writers Reading Room in the 
American Heritage Center. Primarily a research collection, 
the core of this collection is Dr. Hebard's personal library 
which was donated to the university libraries. Further dona- 
tions have been significant in the development of this col- 
lection. While it is easy to identify materials about Wyo- 
ming published by nationally known publishers, it can be 
difficult to locate pertinent publications printed in Wyoming. 
The Hebard Collection is considered to be the most compre- 
hensive collection on Wyoming in the state. 

If you have any questions about these materials or the 
Hebard Collection, you can contact me at 307-766-6245; 
by email, or you can access the Hebard 
HomePage at: heb.htm. 

New Publications 

Cheyenne Frontier Days Cookbook. Cheyenne: 
Chuckwagon Gourmet, 1995. Hebard & Science TX 
715.2 .W47 C549 1995 

Cook, Malcolm L. First Church: A People Called 

Methodist. Cheyenne: The First United Methodist 
Church. 1993. Hebard & Coe BX 8481 .C46 C665 1993 

Crouse, Roberta Z. Centennial Wyoming 1876-1996 

Centennial: Utopia Creek Press, CJudith Girard, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe F 769 .C4 C768 1996 

Flynn, Shirley E. Let's Go! Let's Show! Let's Rodeo! 
The History of Cheyenne Frontier Days' M The "Daddy 
of Em All"®. Cheyenne: Wigwam Publishing Company, 
LLC, 1996. Hebard & Coe GV 1834.55 .W82 C46 1996 

Glover, Cal. A Grizzly Death in Yellowstone. Moose: 

Homestead Publishing, 1994. Hebard & Coe PS 3557.L6774 

G7 1994 A mystery set in Yellowstone. 

Jordan, Roy A. and S. Brett DeBoer. Wyoming, A Source 
Book. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1996. 
Hebard & Coe F 761 ..167 1996 

Long, Kim. Wolves: A V\ ildlife Handbook. Boulder: 

Johnson Books, 1996. 

Hebard & Science QL 737 .C22 L65 1996 

Mobley, Karen R. Prairie, Wind, Winter; Drawings and 
Poems. Casper; Karen R. Mobley, 1995. 
Hebard & Coe PS 3563 .0225 P735 1995 

Moulton, Candy V. and Ben Kern. Wagon Wheels: A 
Contemporary Journey on the Oregon Trail Glendo: 
High Plains Press, 1996. Hebard & Coe F 597 .M77 1996 

News of the Plains and Rockies 1803-1865. Volume 1: 
Early Explorers, 1803-181 2 and Fur Hunters, 1813-1847 

Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 
1996. Hebard & Coe F 591 .W67 1996 v.l 

Peters, Arthur King. Seven Trails West. New York: 
Abbeville Press Publishers, 19%. Hebard F591 .P425 1996 

Righter, Robert W. Wind Energy in America: A His- 
tory. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. 
Hebard & Science TK 1541 .R54 1996. 

Robinson III, Charles M. A Good Year to Die: The 
Story of the Great Sioux War. New York: Random 
House, 1995. Hebard E 83.876 .R63 1995 

Sweetwater Views. [Green River]: Sweetwater County 
Historical Society, 1996. Hebard & Coe F 767 .S9 S956 

Turiano. Thomas. Teton Skiing: A History and Guide 
to the Teton Range, Wyoming. Moose: Homestead 
Publishing. 1995 Hebard & Coe GV 854.5 .T48 T87 

Older Titles 

Crandall, Harrison R. The Tetons in Pictures. Grand Teton 
National Park: Crandall Studios, n.d. Hebard F 767 T29 C7 

Ford, Leslie. Old Lover's Ghost. New York: Charles 
Scribner's Sons. 1940. Hebard PS 3503 .R8394 053 1940 
A mystery-romance set in Yellowstone. 

Guidebook of the Western United States, Part B. The 
Overland Route with a Side Trip to Yellowstone Park 

U.S.G.S. Bulletin 612. Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1916. Hebard F 591 .U58 c.2 

Murphy, Thomas D. Seven Wonderlands of the Ameri- 
can West. Boston: L.C. Page & Company, 1925. 
Hebard E 160 .M97 

Murphy. Thomas D. Three Wonderlands of the Ameri- 
can West. Boston: The Page Company Publishers, 1919. 
Hebard F 595 .M97 1919 

Myall, William. The Scenic West, A Travelogue. 

ton: The Stratford Company Publishers. 1929. 
Hebard F 595 .M98 1929 



Annals or Wyoming 

Pisani, Donald J. To Reclaim a Divided West: Water, 
Law, and Public Policy, 1848-1902. Albuquerque: Uni- 
versity of New Mexico Press, 1992 Hebard HD 1695 .A17 
P57 1992 

Programme of Music at Old Faithful Inn. [Omaha, NE: 
Union Pacific System, 1915] Hebard F 722 .P765 1915 

Say lor, David J. Jackson Hole, Wyoming: In the Shadow 
of the Tetons. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1970. Hebard F 767 J3 S2 c.2 

Vale, Thomas R. and Geraldine R. Vale. Western Im- 
ages, Western Landscapes: Travels Along U.S. 89. Tuc- 
son: University of Arizona Press, 1989. 
Hebard F 595.3 .V35 1989 

Weis, Norman D. Ghost Towns of the Northwest 

Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1971. 
Hebard F 852 .W52 

Werner, Fred H. "Faintly Sounds the War-Cry": The 

Story of the Battle Butte Fight, January 8, 1877. 
Greeley: Werner Publications, 1983. 
Hebard E 83.8765 .W47 1983 

The Wild Bunch. Denver: Sage Books, 1966 
Hebard F 595 .W67 1966 

Government Publications 

Explorer on the Northern Plains: Lieutenant 
Gouverneur K. Warren's Preliminary Report of 
Explorations in Nebraska and Dakota, in the Years 

1855- , 56-'57. n.p.: Historical Division, Office of 
Administrative Services, Office of the Chief of Engi- 
neers, 1981. Hebard D 103.43/2:2 

March to South Pass: Lieutenant William B. 
Franklin's Journal of the Kearny Expedition of 1845. 

Washington, DC: Historical Division, Office of Admin- 
istrative Services, Office of the Chief of Engineers, 1980. 
Hebard D 103.43/2:1 

Letter to trie Editor 

Dear Editor, 

I would like to take this opportunity to comment, for 
the record, about my article published in the Wyoming His- 
tory Journal, Spring 1996, Vol. 68, No. 2. There were edi- 
torial changes made to my article which I didn't have the 
opportunity to see before the article was published. The 
article that was published, then, did not completely repre- 
sent what I had written nor did it completely reflect my 
intended interpretation of the topic. 

First, I titled my article, "Remembering Heart Moun- 
tain." The title that appeared was "Heart Mountain: Re- 
membering the Camp." History is full of euphemisms. Some 
of the worst examples of euphemisms used by our govern- 
ment were with the "internment" of Japanese Americans 
during World War II in "relocation centers" or "relocation 
camps." I chose to not use "camp" in my title. In the past, 
too often, we referred to these places, as the government 
did, as "relocation centers" instead of what in fact they were, 
"concentration camps." The term "concentration camp" is 
offensive to many people because of their association with 
Hitler's camps which, in fact, were not "concentration 
camps," but rather "death camps." I chose to not use "camp" 
or "concentration camp" in the title in order to explain the 
terminology in the text. Referring to this place as a "camp" 
without an accurate adjective does not do this tragic his- 
toric place justice. 

Furthermore, I had provided a photograph of the place 
with the tar papered shacks and the barbed wire surround- 
ing them and had hoped it would have appeared with my 
title, "Remembering Heart Mountain." With this photo- 
graph, the reader then would be able to know what I was 
referring to in my title. The title photograph used, of two 
people looking off at Heart Mountain, the landmark, at sun- 
set is closer to government propaganda than to the reality 


for which these people were living. Consider how the pho- 
tograph used is perpetuating the myth held by many 
Caucasians at the time that "these people were happy there." 
It was my hope to dismiss this myth in my article, not per- 
petuate it. 

There were also quotes taken out of my text. This his- 
toric event was a very personal and painful experience for 
the Japanese Americans. It is also an event that many of 
them are ashamed to have been a part of, despite it being 
no fault of their own. I have been entrusted with the per- 
sonal stories from many former Heart Mountain internees. 
They were willing to share with me their painful memories 
only after I had earned their trust and assured anonymity. 
Wanting to respect the people for whose experience I am 
writing, I honored any request for anonymity. This is not 
uncommon. Other historians addressing sensitive subjects 
have likewise drawn upon and used anonymous oral histo- 
ries or letters. All my anonymous quotes and citations were 
stricken from my article without my knowledge. This less- 
ened the impact of my article and perhaps can be viewed as 
insensitive to the Japanese Americans. 

It is my hope with this letter that future readers of my 
article about the Heart Mountain Concentration Camp will 
also have these comments so to have a more accurate un- 
derstanding of my presentation and interpretation of the 
subject. Unfortunately, this could have been avoided had I 
had the opportunity to see changes before the article was 

Antonette C. Noble 
Cora, Wyoming 

Editor Phil Roberts replies: 

To quote William Allen White, editor of the Emporia (Kan- 
sas) Gazette earlier in this century: "There are three things 
that no one can do to the entire satisfaction of anyone else; 
make love, poke the fire and run a newspaper [journal]." 

Autumn 1996 

Book R 


--Some Significant Recent Books in Western 
ana Wyoming History 

In Place: Stories of Landscape & Identity from 
the American West. By Barbara Allen Bogart. 
Glendo: High Plains Press, 1994. Art work, note 
on text, bib. 128 pp. Paper, $10.95. 

In Place is a book meant to be read slowly and 
savored, preferably in the company of someone else 
willing to listen to the passages that cry to be read aloud. 
Barbara Allen Bogart has gathered stories from hun- 
dreds of oral histories in the collections of universities, 
historical societies, museums, and libraries and has 
edited these by ethnopoetic transcription, in the man- 
ner proposed by Dennis Tedlock (p. 123). This allows 
her to present the stories "typographically in a way that 
leads the reader to understand their rhythms and sense 
as spoken, rather than written, texts" (p. 123). Those 
stories which defy this treatment accentuate the rhythm 
of those which do fit the unusual treatment. 

Bogart's thesis is that people absorb the essence of 
place, which ultimately leads them to understand them- 
selves "as belonging to a place," and thus ready to "be- 
gin to take care of it" (p. 1 1 ). To support her thesis, she 
has divided the book into three main sections: "Com- 
ing into the Land" "Learning to Live with the Land," 
and "Measuring Up to the Place" and then including 
pertinent stories under each heading — going from 
"Journey" to "Identity." Even though there is a heavy 
emphasis on "old" stories, she avoids the trap of focus- 
ing only on the past, and includes some contemporary 
stories which work well in showing that the process of 
becoming part of a place continues. A favorite here is 
her story of the man flying into Rock Springs, being 
told by the pilot that the temperature is forty-one de- 
grees, and the visibility thirty-five miles, only to meet 
raging snow and wind upon landing. When he accuses 
the pilot of lying, he is told "Eight minutes ago it was 
true./ Welcome to Wyoming!"(p. 34). 

As a folklorist and oral historian, Bogart's back- 
ground is evident in her choice and arrangement of the 
stories. She includes myths which explain the inexpli- 
cable about the new land, legends of Big Foot and 
unplumbable sinkholes, tall tales like the one of the 
bear who kept running into the hammer of a broken 
sledge hammer swinging on a rope tied to a tree branch, 
and jokes of all kinds — those to relieve tension, those 

to demean the outsider, and lastly, those which estab- 
lish that inhabitants who have become one with their 
place set up an "us" versus "them" mentality which 
begins to override the initial banding together for the 
common survival shown in the earlier stories. 

Including the names of the persons who told the 
stories, as well as the states in which they were found, 
would add to the authenticity of the text, but overall. 
In Place is impressively designed, beautifully illustrated 
by Mary Patricia Ettinger and printed on paper of ex- 
ceptional quality. It can be read for pleasure, insight, 
or study of the West. It will make a good auxiliary text 
for students of history, oral history, and folklore. It is a 
fine addition to literature. 

Winifred Sawaya Wasden 
Northwest College, Powell 

Hog Ranches of Wyoming: Liquor, Lust, and 
Lies Under Sagebrush Skies. By Larry K. Brown. 
Glendo: High Plains Press, 1995). 117 pages, 
lllus., index. 1 17 pp. Paper, $9.95 

Larry K. Brown's Hog Ranches of Wyoming is a 
well-documented, antecdotal account of a violent, harsh, 
and criminal side of Wyoming's territorial history. 
Focusing on small, underworld communities 
picaresquely known as "hog ranches," Brown describes 
these early Wyoming settlements as being "plentiful 
as prairie dog towns and just about as pesky" (p. 25), 
and discusses the means with which soldiers, gamblers, 
cowhands, teamsters, outlaws, and weary travelers 
slaked their over-powering thirst for sex, gambling, and 
liquor. In vivid terms Brown depicts these outposts as 
being ephemeral, squalid, and barren places which were 
often "nothing more than sod huts and cave-like sties 
carved into hillsides" (p. 25). They were, the author 
asserts, a form of rural enterprise that sprang up near 
army installations (of which Wyoming had more than 
twenty at the height of the Indian wars) after military 
and civilian officials banned the sale of liquor on the 
military compounds. Further, Brown writes that a very 
low and tough set of women inhabited these communi- 
ties where, existing among the meanest of conditions, 


Annals or Wyoming 

"they dealt nightly with drunks, drifters, gamblers and 
gun fighters and were slapped around with fists and gun 
butts" (p. 30). 

While Hog Ranches tells an easy-to-read, fast- 
paced, and intriguing tale of frontier conditions, its real 
value resides mostly in its implicit interpretation of one 
side of Wyoming's overall history. The prostitutes, 
pimps, clients, and others Brown discusses are but little 
more than one generation removed from Wyoming's 
mountain men who led equally rugged, untamed lives 
in a wilderness beyond America's more civilized soci- 
ety. As the inheritors of the West's lawless and iso- 
lated nature, the hog ranches' denizens become the 
personification of the frontier's need for ingenuity, 
hardy persistence, and stoic individualism which ex- 
isted beyond society's more stable, orderly and perma- 
nent line of settlement with its well-established educa- 
tional, religious, and governmental institutions. In an 
analytical sense. Brown's book describes in story form 
Wyoming's historical progression through a wilderness, 
frontier period of colonization that preceeded the state's 
slow movement toward civilization. 

Overall, Hog Ranches is a valuable addition to the 
growing and diverse collection of works on Wyoming 
history. In style it is reminiscent of Bill Bragg, Jr.'s 
writings, and its subject adds significantly to the un- 
derstanding of Wyoming's complex history. Hopefully, 
this book is only one of many that Larry K. Brown will 
produce about the existence of conflict and disorderly 
conduct inherent in the state's frontier experiences. 

Walter Jones 

Western Americana Division 

University of Utah Library 

I See by Your Outfit: Historic Cowboy Gear of 
the Northern Plains. By Tom Lindmier and Steve 
Mount. Glendo, Wyoming: High Plains Press, 
1996.175 pages. Illus., notes, glossary, bib., in- 
dex. Paper, $16.95. 

What a pleasure it is to read a book in which the 
authors actually deliver what they promise, and do it 
artfully, to boot! In this thoughtfully illustrated and 
well-documented monograph, Wyoming natives Tom 
Lindmier and Steve Mount offer their readers chrono- 
logical, topical, and highly detailed discussions of the 
northern plains cowboy, his clothing, riding gear, the 
horses' gear, and camp equipment as they evolved in 
the Cowboy State from 1870 to 1928. Since the Wyo- 

ming cowpoke did not develop in a vacuum, cowboys 
from other areas are also examined. 

More a pragmatic working man than a romanti- 
cized knight on horseback, the cowboy wore and used 
what was available and what he could afford. A good 
source of inexpensive clothing was the Army; as "sol- 
diers were generally broke and always ready to sell 
their shirts and pants" (p. 32). Hats came mail order 
from Sears, Roebuck or Montgomery Ward, or were 
store-bought from places like Fort Laramie. John 
Stetson's offerings, especially the "Boss of the Plains," 
whose wearer could shape its crown and brim to suit 
himself, proved popular. The ten-gallon hat, that some 
of us tend to associate with "real" cowboys, was devel- 
oped in Cheyenne by Max J. Meyers in 1925, manu- 
factured by Stetson, and marketed as the Colonel 
McCoy. It was first produced for movie actor Tim 
McCoy, and then adopted by other Hollywood cellu- 
loid 'pokes, and by rodeo cowboys. By the 1920s, 
Wyoming cowboys were wearing the $2-a-pair denim 
pants from Levi Strauss, which the previous genera- 
tion eschewed as beneath their dignity, and deemed 
more appropriate garb for farmers. 

Although mail order was all right for the working 
cowboy, it was not all right for his horse. In saddles 
and other gear, quality and craftsmanship were impor- 
tant. A reputable artisan could also customize a saddle 
for a client, a service absent, by necessity, through cata- 
logues or in general stores. 

The authors employ predominantly primary 
sources, and profusely illustrate their text with draw- 
ings by Lindmier, catalogue reproductions from pri- 
vate collections, and archival photographs from reposi- 
tories such as the American Heritage Center (Laramie), 
Wyoming State Museum (Cheyenne), Wyoming Pio- 
neer Memorial Museum (Douglas), Anna Miller Mu- 
seum (Newcastle), Fremont County Pioneer Museum 
(Lander), and the Sweetwater County Historical Soci- 
ety (Green River). Lindmier and Mount remain bless- 
edly focused, and do not go off into the meadow to 
explain, for example, why the era of the cowboy began 
after the Civil War, or discuss whether the horse-drawn 
roundup wagon made by Studebaker Brothers Manu- 
facturing Company was the forerunner of a horseless 
wagon by the same name. These topics will have to 
wait for another day. 

This is a fine volume, worth the time to digest it, 
and the money to purchase it. 

Peg Tremper 
University of Wyoming 

48 9052 


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